The Great Commission…and What It Means to You

from the July 2018 MVLC newsletter

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
—MATTHEW 28:16-20 (The Great Commission)

This scripture defines the mission of the “GO Team.” Jesus delivered the Great Commission and in it comes the command for all the peoples of the earth to be reached with the good news. Our evangelism job description consists of the following:

  • Become an ambassador of Christ, Sunday through Saturday.
  • Share the good news of Jesus Christ during one-to-one conversations in daily life.
  • Invite family, friends, and acquaintances to learn more about God’s love.
  • Invite people to worship, study, fellowship, and service.
  • Witness to Jesus by living compassionate, gracious, and loving lives.
  • Welcome guests who come to church activities.
  • Encourage each other to grow in faith.

You may realize as you read the description that this is describing what every disciple should be doing. Each of us is called to be a witness to Jesus Christ. What if every member of our congregation made the effort to invite someone that hasn’t been to our church to a worship service, fellowship event, or another opportunity on our church campus?  Can you imagine?

Evangelism is a Greek word meaning good news. The word has the same root as angels, messengers who announce good news. The GO Team, since it formed almost two years ago, has been working to identify various ways to announce the good news and to invite the stranger into our midst. The challenge is how to have the conversation with someone whom you don’t know very well.

We invite people all the time. It is part of living with others. We invite people to share a meal with us or meet for coffee at Starbucks. We invite them to a movie or to go out to eat. We invite for a variety of reasons and it seems like there is nothing to it. But there is a challenge to invite someone into the faith.

Inviting people to a church activity can be more challenging for us. Why do you think this may be true? Don’t we think the church activity will be a blessing to that person’s life? Perhaps we fear we might impinge on that individual’s private faith-life. To a certain degree, this is true, but in a positive way. God blesses people. Hopefully, others might be blessed by the fellowship found in our church. Not everyone is ready to attend a service of worship every Sunday, but inviting someone to an event or to a Wednesday dinner may not be so difficult for us. I challenge all of us to step out of our  comfort zones and try it. At least once. There are opportunities that are forthcoming for you to do just that.

The GO Team has identified various entrance points for conversation through activities in the community and at the Community Center that we hope will allow opportunities for invitation. We will be present and encourage you to do the same at various activities throughout the summer: Edgewood Community Picnic, Saturday 21 July; Milton Days Parade, Saturday 18 August; and the Mountain View Community Center Back-to-School BBQ and Health Fair, Saturday 25 August.

There is another excellent opportunity for you as a disciple on the weekend of Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September 2018. The ELCA, to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor—has set aside a date for an opportunity of celebration titled “God’s work. Our hands.” We, at Mountain View Lutheran Church, are working to identify opportunities for you to use your hands in service to Christ during this weekend to carry out not only Great Commission work but also the Great Commandment. Please save these dates on your calendar, as there will be various ways that you can participate in the celebration of “Gods Work, Our hands.” You may choose a portion of time throughout that weekend to either use your hands in service to God on our church campus or in the community. Specifics will follow in upcoming newsletters, MVLC E-news, and announcements.  Please mark your calendars for this weekend and make the commitment to serve sometime during it.

The GO Team currently consists of the following members: Daryl Bakke, Skip Harrison, Gretchen Johnsrud, Kim Lawson, Emily Thompson, and Julie Williams (chairperson).

We continue to discuss what the great commission means to our church and we encourage you to participate in the conversation.  We are currently seeking new members.  If you feel called to serve please contact one of us.

In closing I ask for your prayers as the GO Team works on invitation into the great news of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
—ACTS 1:8

Join the GO Team in witnessing the goods news of Jesus Christ!

Thanks be to God!

—Julie Williams


Save the dates!

Mountain View Lutheran Church will be holding a weekend of service to kick off our fall programming.

Saturday 08 September 2018 will focus on serving in our local communities, including the Mountain View Community Center and the Edgewood Nourish Food Bank.

Sunday 09 September 2018 will focus on serving on the Mountain View campus.

Look for more information in future newsletters and the MVLC E-news.