By Ed Barnett
The great Gospel Commission has always helped drive my ministry. Jesus told his disciples, which today, I believe, is you and me, “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20)
Several things grab my attention here:
- “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Our job is to make disciples for Jesus. Our job is to make disciples in our territory—Wyoming, Colorado, and part of New Mexico —and to help spread the gospel around the world by being missionaries and giving faithfully of our tithes and offerings so others can help spread the gospel to the entire world. Disciples are people who follow Jesus and share Him with others.
- The text says we should “baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” When we help in the process of making disciples, we need to baptize these individuals and we shouldn’t baptize them until they know fully what they are getting into.
- “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” We want these new disciples trained and taught everything Jesus has commanded us to teach. We want them to know the full Seventh-day Adventist message.
- “Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” Folks, this is a critical part of the Gospel Commission. Jesus says He will be with us “always.” Do you like that? He says until He comes again, He will be with us. That has always been very encouraging to me.
With Jesus’ words as a background, I ask you to once again consider our Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement. We have three different versions and I want to share some of the thinking that has gone into it.
Long Version: Our mission is to lovingly support and empower every member in our conference to know Christ and to make Him fully known through education, outreach, and service, and by communicating hope and encouraging intimate connection with Christ and with each other.
Short Version: Lovingly supporting and empowering every member in our conference to know Christ and to make Him fully known.
Tagline or positioning statement: Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known.
There are certain things to keep in mind concerning our mission statement. The committee that helped craft it considered them important. It took several months to process the statement and get it voted through all of the different committees.
Elements to our Mission Statement:
Audience (members and employees of our conference)
Gospel Commission/Three Angels Message (make Him known) l Hope
Intimate connection with Christ (personal)
Scope (support/empowerment in our territory for workers and members who may make Him known in various ways and places throughout the world)
How (education, outreach, service, communication, connection)
Empowering l Support
Today, I believe we are at the end of time in this old world. We each need “to know Christ and make Him fully known.” We have to take the Gospel Commission seriously. We have to be faithful disciples for Jesus. And we can’t give new disciples a partial gospel. We have to give the full gospel so people can truly know Jesus.
With this in mind, our conference voted to put more money into our evangelism funds this year, and I was pleased when Eric Nelson, our evangelism coordinator, reported that we had more requests for evangelism dollars this year than in the past. I am excited that Mark Finley is going to come in 2016 and do a health/evangelism series, and that Shawn Boonstra and the Voice of Prophecy will be doing a major city outreach in 2018.
Brothers and Sisters, we have a job to do. Won’t you be a faithful disciple for Jesus and help take His gospel throughout our Rocky Mountain territory?
—Ed Barnett is RMC president.