Published Friday, October 20, 2006



Consider again the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 28:16-20:


16 “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.17 And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


A major reason for the decline of so many Adventist churches that were once vibrant in the 1940s and 1950s is that they have forgotten their mission.  The Adventist church began with a clear mission but with the passing of time and a relative degree of success, that mission got lost and left behind while the institution moved forward.


It seems to me that there comes a time in the life of every organization when it needs renewal, revitalization, and a reemphasis of the reason for its existence.  And there comes a time when people become restless and anxious.  They know that something needs to happen and doesn’t quite seem to be taking place. 


The mission of the church asks: “What are we supposed to be doing?”

The answer is the Great Commission:  “To make disciples” or “to make fully devoted disciples”  (Matt. 28:19-20;  Mark 16:15;  Luke 24:47;  Acts 1:8).  This is a disciple-driven mission!  Therefore, the mission of the church is to turn unchurched people into fully functioning disciples of Christ in anticipation of His soon second coming.


You may wonder just what difference a clearly defined mission makes.  Here are a few suggestions:


            1.         It motivates us.


            2.         It develops our potential.


            3.         It keeps our priorities straight.


            4.         It enables us to evaluate our progress.


            5.         It energizes us to minister more effectively


A key to revitalizing the church is to once again catch a vision for mission.  Mission is what drives the church!  It gives direction!  A mission is what the church is supposed to accomplish.  It’s the primary goal or task.  It’s what God wants us to do.   

Ralph S. Watts III

July, 2006