The Main Thing

A wise person once said, “You gotta keep the main thing the main thing.” Basically all that means is that the focus should always be kept on what is most important.

So, to apply that question to the modern church: What is the main, most important thing which we need to keep as our main focus?

What a question, right? There are so many options of what the body of Christ could be involved in doing. The list of ministries and offerings available to us at any one time can be dizzying. So, what do we choose? Benevolence ministry? Children’s programs? Worship services? Community service?

All of these are wonderful, and the global family of faith is right to pour time and funds into them. BUT…they are not the main end or goal of God’s people. All of these things are means to accomplish the main thing. Jesus Christ told us many things which we are to be, and many things which we are to do. However, there was one moment recorded in the gospels when the full weight of His glorious, heavenly authority overflowed from a commissioning He gave to His disciples. Everything He had taught them to be and everything He had taught them to do was in preparation for this command:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

THEREFORE

make disciples of all nations

as you are going, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

The primary thing that Jesus tells His followers to do is to make more followers of Jesus. That’s the main thing.

Now, some of you might read that scripture verse and notice that it is translated somewhat differently than we normally see it. The way we are accustomed to seeing it in our Bibles is:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go…”

And so our mental emphasis lands on the word “go”. However, “go” is not the main verb of the sentence. The main verb in the original language is “make disciples”.

This is an important distinction to make, because often what happens for us is that we hear or read “Therefore, go…” and get discouraged or scared. We don’t feel like God is calling us to go anywhere other than where we are. We feel like the real disciple-making work is done by people who are called by God to go somewhere else. BUT Jesus was not telling His disciples that they had to buy plane tickets to fulfill the great commission. He was telling them that as they were going about their lives, their main focus should be making more followers of Jesus. Wherever they were, whatever they were doing, they were to make disciples.

So, for us as a body of followers of Jesus Christ, this means that everything we do, whether benevolence, TeamKid, Worship, etc…ALL of it should be for the one main purpose of making disciples. Our main focus should be helping people become followers.

On a related note: this isn’t just a corporate focus. It is also a personal focus! And making disciples isn’t just for ministers and missionaries. God has purposely placed His people in banks, and schools, and on farms, and in companies, and all sorts of other places so that disciples might be made in all of those places! Wherever you are, God has placed you there for the purpose of introducing people to the glorious news that Jesus Christ can be their eternal…ETERNAL…Savior.

So then, onward brother and sisters! Let us be about making disciples as we go about life, and may Jesus Christ our wonderful Lord and Master be glorified.

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2 thoughts on “The Main Thing

  1. I’ve realized lately that it is very easy to go a very long time without sharing the Gospel in any meaningful way if you are not careful, especially when you find yourself in an enviornment in which you are surrounded by Christians. It’s also easy to conflate discussing theology with discussing the Gospel, which can be disastrous for lots of reasons. But being able to discuss theology isn’t the same thing as being a disciple (even this side of baptism), and perhaps one of the greatest failings of the Christian teachers of our times [of all stripes] is the failure to emphasize the importance of following Jesus and taking his yoke of Lordship.

    On the plus side, I see a lot of young pastors [of all stripes] who recognize this and are working to address it in their flocks.

    So, there’s my opinion. That and $0.67 will get you a cup of coffee at Harlow’s.

  2. Very true on all accounts, Versh. It’s something that I’ve had to be very intentional about, for precisely the reason you mentioned. I spend all my time in Seminary classrooms or around church folks. However, being intentional, coupled with praying for opportunities, has proved to provide quite a number of conversations.

    Also: I miss Harlow’s.

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