The Genesis Great Commission

July 12, 2019

If asked, “What is the Great Commission?” most Christians would say, “to make disciples.” Many years of Jesus’ life and ministry are spent forming His disciples in Christlikeness and teaching them how to do the same for others. Jesus’ life modeled God’s mission of relationally making disciples who would worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. God wants the whole world to be full of those who worship Him, glorifying Him as they grow in the likeness of Christ and multiplying disciples among all peoples of the earth. But here is an interesting question, “Was Jesus’ life and ministry the first time God called His followers to His mission?”

Consider Genesis 1:26-28.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.’”

Was Jesus’ life and ministry the first time God called His followers to His mission? Multiplying God’s disciples throughout the world has always been His desire.

A couple of things look a lot like Jesus’ disciple-making ministry, even before sin entered the world. In Genesis, Adam and Eve are made in the likeness of God and told to fill the earth with people who will do the same. Disciple-making has always been part of God’s plan, even from the very beginning. After the fall, sin created a barrier between God and people that could only be removed by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through repentance and faith, God’s people can be about His work, filling the whole earth with those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Looking back at the original question, “Was Jesus’ life and ministry the first time God called His followers to His mission?” Multiplying God’s disciples throughout the world has always been His desire. Every local church and every disciple has been commissioned to join God on His mission: to grow in Christlikeness and multiply that in others as we make disciples that make disciples to the ends of the earth. How can we follow the Genesis Great Commission?

  • Understand that your time walking with God is part of being a disciple who makes disciples like Adam.
  • See your discipling relationships not as a means to an end, but as the end — we were created for discipling relationships from the beginning.
  • Personalize God’s vision as your vision, a world full of Christlike worshipers of God.
  • Intentionally bring the gospel — God’s redemptive story which starts with God and His creating — into every conversation.
  • Own the Great Commission as your mission as you personally and relationally multiply.


by Michael Boarts 
Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

8 steps to leading your church back to growth

Church revitalization is both a popular and critical need in North America. That’s one reason I’m glad to be a part of Church Answers and Revitalize Network. Sometimes, however, pastors and church leaders overcomplicate the process of revitalization. Here are some simple steps all...

3 things I would do differently in ministry

I will soon celebrate 40 years in full-time ministry. During the course of my career, I have pastored four churches, one of which was a church plant. I am now in my third interim pastorate, and I continue to serve as a strategy coordinator with the state convention. I have often...

When the kids come back: Navigating new challenges in your children’s ministry

Your church has decided to reopen its children’s ministry for Sunday mornings. With excitement, you dust off curriculum packs and plan for a grand welcome back. Children who have been learning virtually and in person on a limited basis walk in the door and you expect a return to...

The role of pastoral health in church revitalization

The “RevitalizeNC'' podcast is hosted by Terry Long, senior consultant for church revitalization with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Each episode includes an interview with a leading expert in the field of church revitalization to offer help, hope and...

Whose side are you on?

It’s human nature to divide everything into sides. We take sides in insignificant matters like what toppings to have on our pizza, or whether to drink Coke or Pepsi. (Some here in North Carolina may be a little partial to Pepsi since it was invented in New Bern.) College...

Explainer: EDT transitions, special meetings & more

A special meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has been called for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem to elect an individual to serve as the next executive director-treasurer (EDT) of the state convention.The process for...

Top 5 resources for May 2021

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Why overcoming negativity is crucial to fruitful ministry

One of the greatest enemies of longevity in ministry is negativity. This disease presents its hideous face in many ways in our personal lives and ministries. Like many other hindrances to our walk with the Lord and our relationships with family, friends and those we lead in our...

1 Comment

  1. Joey Rowell

    Last summer, Lynn, a very mission minded lady in our church, asked me what I thought of checking out a very well known flea market in our area to set up a prayer station. Now this flea market sometimes would have as many as 250 vendors and between 2- 3 thousand “customers”, so my wife and I, along with Lynn checked it out. As I strolled through the market, I felt as if I were back in time. I sensed the Holy Spirit was speaking to me, “See…this is like the markets of Jesus’ day. People are selling food, housewares, animals, ‘special treasures’. The smell of small fires burning, the sound of roosters crowing…Joey, these people have need of you here.”
    Immediately, we were convicted to serve our Lord at the flea market. The only problem was, it is only opened on Sundays. After discussing this with our Pastor and church leadership and praying, we felt being led by the Holy Spirit to begin this ministry. However, because of our responsibilities to our local church, we would set up our prayer station around 6:30 and break things down to leave around 9:00. This would give us time to be at church in time for Sunday School. We were able to maintain this until the cold and rainy weather set in around December, which caused us to temporarily shut down
    This year we returned the first week in April, but things were different. The Holy Spirit was speaking to us again. He was instructing my wife and I to make this our mission field. So again, we went to our Pastor and church leadership asking for their counsel and prayer. With full prayer and financial support, we are now serving each Sunday at the Mt. Croghan (pronounced crog’-in) Flea Market.
    You may say, that’s great, and it is, and I can share testimony after testimony of how God is using this ministry, but this article by Michael Boartes, has opened my eyes to a greater sense of making disciples. We typically think of being fruitful and multiplying as procreation and producing “fruit of the loins”, but if we truly love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind, then why do we as the church not do a better job of letting our “light so shine” and “making disciples?”
    This application of scripture, I believe, will open many eyes and hearts. While many Christians are saved, they are still drinking milk and do not have a desire to eat solid food. Many are still babes and are “unskilled in the word of righteousness.” I will take this, what I have heard and seen, and “commit this to faithful men, who will (hopefully){emphasis added} be able to teach others also.”
    While I could go on, I will stop here. Thank you, Michael, for this article and thanks to the BSCNC for the work each of you do, and the encouragement you give to others. May our Lord continue to bless you all!

    Your fellow servant,
    Joey Rowell

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!