Mission Hill

Mission Hill

February 19, 2024 | Jake Each

What do you think your purpose is? Not many people realize they have a true, biblical purpose, but for those who do, the resulting paradigm shift is extreme. It changes everything. Most people go through life seeking enjoyment, comfort, community, belonging, and status. We want to make money, advance in our careers, grow our family, and retire well. It is really easy to make life about something life is not ultimately about. Which makes it easy to waste our lives. To spend it all on the lesser things, until our whole life is gone.

Now to be clear, enjoying life, thriving in your career, having good community, growing your family, and putting your feet up at the end of the day are not inherently evil things. But all of these things need to find their place within a greater purpose. If we do not put those pursuits under the direction of God’s purpose for our lives, we lack a clear mission and those lesser things can become our driving mission.

Paul warns us about this in Ephesians 5:15-17, “Look carefully then how you walk [or how you live], not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

If we are not careful we will be foolish in how we spend our lives. So, a few questions: Are you making the best use of your time? Are you being wise or unwise in how you live? How should the days being evil inform us what the best use of time is? Do you really understand the will of the Lord in order to not waste your life?

Spoiler: this is an article on mission, and those passages in their context are about holiness. So how are mission and holiness connected? “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:3a). We are to live our lives to please, honor, and bring glory to our God, as people who will stand before him to give an account. But holiness goes beyond just morality, holiness is to be set apart for God in all of life. “We are a people for his own possession, THAT we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9; emphasis added). Holiness requires gospel proclamation. That is what we do as His people.

The days are evil. And the days are limited. And God’s people are to bring the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Christ made that mission clear at his ascension.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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 observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).

This is the Great Commission. As Christians, we don’t make up our own missions. The Great Commission is our mission. Our individual lives come under that mission and we live that mission in our own unique ways. Whether that is moving overseas, church planting, parenting, or the intentionality in which you work and live your everyday life all for the glory of God. The Great Commission is part of the holiness we are called to. God’s people proclaiming God’s gospel. Disciple making.

But do we really understand what that means for us? Do you know how to go about this mission in your life? Our hope as a church is that our people are actually living on mission. That each of us is committed and active in disciple-making. So let’s take a closer, more practical look at the Great Commission.

There are five key calls to action in the Great Commission: Go, Make, Baptize, Teach, and Obey/Send. Separating them out can help us better understand the different aspects of living this out.

To Go is to take initiative. This is you being proactive and intentional with the message of the gospel. You are the one moving to a new place. You are the one bringing it up with your kids at the dinner table. You are the one initiating the questions in the workroom. The Great Commission does not call for a passive reactionary posture, but a proactive initiating posture.

To Make takes time. Making something is a process. It is going to require patience and relationship. What we are making is not a convert, but rather a disciple. A convert happens instantaneously through the work of the Holy Spirit. A disciple is shaped over time also through the work of the Holy Spirit in relationships centered on God’s Word. Jesus calls us to make disciples. We need to prioritize the time it takes to do this.

To Baptize takes guts. Baptism is a public proclamation of a new association. To be baptized has social implications. It aligns you publically with Christianity and the gospel message. And that happens because someone led someone else to the point that they would express their devotion and faith in Christ. Being on the Great Commission involves times of calling people to repent and believe. To become a follower of Jesus. That takes guts. If they reject the gospel, you go back to “GO”. Then you must take new initiatives. If they respond in faith the disciple-making process continues.

To Teach takes time. Just like make, but this time on the other side of faith. We are to teach them all that Jesus commanded. That doesn’t happen overnight. Take time with people to go through the teachings of Jesus. Help them understand correct doctrine.

To Obey takes initiative. We are not to just teach them what Jesus commanded, but to obey what Jesus commanded. In discipleship, we have to initiate accountability to obedience. We need to bring up matters of morality, how we entertain ourselves, spend money, date, function in marriage, and parent. We need to help them be uniquely Christian in all of life. Their holiness matters. Their sanctification matters, it is the will of God (1 Thess. 4:3a). As stated previously, part of that holiness is proclamation; their own participation in the Great Commission. Disciple-making eventually involves sending or calling others to obey the call to “Go” themselves and share the gospel with someone else.

Think of this mission like a hill with two sides.


Where are you on this hill? Can you put a name or a few names somewhere on the hill? Is there someone you are really working on “making” a disciple? Is there someone in your life who has expressed faith in Christ through baptism and now you are “teaching” them the truths of God’s Word?

Knowing where you are on this hill helps you know where you need to go next. If there is someone in your life that you have been working on “making” a disciple, eventually you need to call them to faith. To repent and believe and be baptized. If there is someone in your life who has professed faith and you are “teaching” them the truths of Scripture, eventually you will need to challenge them to be proactive and intentional in proclaiming the gospel as well. If you can’t think of any names to put on the hill, start at the bottom. Who are people in your life that you need to take initiative with?

The days are evil. And the days are limited. But the news is good and the mission is clear. Examine carefully how you are living. Are you on the Great Commission? Let’s make the best use of our time to live within a greater purpose, God’s purpose.

Jake Each

Lead Pastor