Upon hearing the words, “go make disciples of all nations (see Matthew 28:16-20),” you may conjure up in your mind a person like Hudson Taylor. At the age of 21, Taylor left his comfortable lifestyle in Yorkshire, England and traveled to China to share the good news. In the mid 1800’s, he weathered the five-and-a-half-month journey by sea. When he arrived in Southern China, it was war-torn. Yet, Taylor stayed and spent his life ministering there. Eight hundred missionaries came to China, and about 125,000 people in China came to know Christ, as a result of his ministry.
While on the one hand, hearing a story like that should lead you to praise and thanksgiving, on the other hand, it may lead you to doubt that those words, “go make disciples,” are for you. One might be tempted to entertain the thought that those words are for super Christians!
Though the words “all nations” implies that this mission will need to extend beyond the boundaries of Galilee and Judea, the word “go” does not mean to “embark” or “depart.” The Greek word we translate here is too generic to be pressed into that meaning.
Furthermore, disciple-making is not a two-step process: first you “go” and then you “make disciples”. In the Greek sentence, the main imperative is to “make disciples.” The phrase could just as easily be translated, “as you go, make disciples.” Disciple making is not a separate activity. For Christians, it is a lifestyle. It is like a bird enthusiast. A bird enthusiast does not only look for birds when bird watching. If he spots a rare bird sighting while on the way to the store, he does not walk by, thinking he’ll look for that species next time he is “bird watching”. He stops what he is doing and takes in the sight, likely pulling out his phone to take a picture. Disciple making is an everyday affair. It is embodied within. The follower of Christ is always looking for opportunities to share the message of Christ with others through words and actions.
We often wrongly assume that people who do not attend church do not think of spiritual things. The opposite is true. A reporter commenting on the rise in spiritual attentiveness in America said, “People are hungry for stories of spiritual discoveries – and for mainstream platforms willing to explore them.” They are looking for people willing to explore them too. Will you be that person? Go make disciples for Christ has commissioned you.