Jesus Christ gave his followers 5 essentials for global mission, what some call, “Great Commission Mandates.”
- “Great” because they are of highest priority.
- “Commission” because they are specific instructions.
- “Mandates”because they are official orders from the King.
Missiologist Marvin Newell lays these essentials out in 5 “M’s” that are easy to remember:
Model, Magnitude, Methodology, Message, and Means.
I give my thoughts under each one.
“…as the Father has sent me, so send I you.”
Jesus is our model in mission. He is the answer to the question of “how” we do mission, what we focus on. He is a model of both proclamation and mercy, words and deeds, Spiritual life and practical works.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
The size and extent of the mandate was to cover the whole world. There was not to be one place or people that would be left unaffected by the good news of Jesus, the King and His Kingdom.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, 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.”
The message was clear: all authority, all nations, all that I commanded you, and I am with you always. The method of Jesus is to make disciples, initiated and welcomed into Kingdom life through baptism, and taught to obey the King and follow his rulership.
“He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’”
The simple yet profound Gospel message is that the Messiah would suffer, die, and rise from the dead. The message includes repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It is a message that is officially announced to all peoples in a way that they can clearly understand.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The effective means of the mission was not to go forth from those who merely had head knowledge, but from those who were “endued with power from on high.”
Indeed, the early disciples all had intimate knowledge of Jesus from following him closely for three years, but the Master still commanded them to wait for a second baptism, this one in the Holy Spirit and fire .