Recently I was watching a press conference where the GM of the Lakers, Rob Pelinka, made a statement related to the signing of LeBron James. Lakers fans (myself included) have been ecstatic about signing the best basketball player of this generation. With James in the purple and gold, there’s a chance at being back on top. But during the interview, Pelinka said, “We don’t celebrate signings. We don’t celebrate roster additions. We celebrate one thing and that’s NBA championships.”
That’s clarity. That’s the main thing. He knows the mission. NBA championships are the main thing. Everything else is done to help bring the team to that goal.
In a similar way, the church must understand its mission. Without deep commitment to the mission, we’ll drift. We must know what its main thing is. Fortunately, Jesus didn’t leave us in the dark. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus gave the church its charter, forever clarifying for us exactly what we’re aiming for: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
Just as the Lakers defined the success of their organization by one thing (championships), so Jesus has defined the success of the church by one main thing: making disciples. To say it like Pelinka did, “We don’t celebrate building renovations, we don’t celebrate new programs. We celebrate one thing, and that’s lost people get saved and discipled for the glory of Jesus Christ.”
In other words, everything the church does, from preaching to praying to programming, should work toward the goal of making disciples. This is the standard by which we judge every ministry of the church. Is it making disciples? If not, why keep doing it?
This means each member takes responsibility to build committed, long-term relationships that help others follow Jesus. As a part of our church, you have been called to devote your life to helping people walk with Jesus.
A church does many things, but this is the one thing we cannot ignore. If we’re not making disciples, it doesn’t matter how nice this building is or how busy we are. Making disciples is the mission of the church.