Jesus’ Call Was to Plant Churches

Tim Keller: “Jesus’ essential call was to plant churches. Virtually all the great evangelistic challenges of the New Testament are basically calls to plant churches, not simply to share the faith. The ‘Great Commission’ (Matt. 28:18-20) is not just a call to ‘make disciples’ but to ‘baptize’. In Acts and elsewhere, it is clear that baptism means incorporation into a worshipping community with accountability and boundaries (cf. Acts 2:41-47). The only way to be truly sure you are increasing the number of Christians in a town is to increase the number of churches. Why? Much traditional evangelism aims to get a ‘decision’ for Christ. Experience, however, shows us that many of these ‘decisions’ disappear and never result in changed lives. Why? Many, many decisions are not really conversions, but often only the beginning of a journey of seeking God. (Other decisions are very definitely the moment of a ‘new birth,’ but this differs from person to person.) Only a person who

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Faithful churches must pursue both width and depth

J.D. Greear: The Great Commission is, in many ways, the marching orders of the church, the benchmark by which we measure success. Inherent to the Great Commission is the command to make disciples, which implies two types of growth—width and depth.We are to reach people from every nation on earth. That’s width. We are to make true disciples of them, teaching them to obey all that he has commanded. That’s depth. To be faithful, a church must vigorously pursue both. Depending on a person’s disposition, however, it is easy to gravitate toward one or the other. It certainly makes decision-making a lot easier. But evaluating success by width alone or by depth alone is both unfaithful and self-defeating.Churches that grow only wide (and not deep) are not growing nearly as wide as they think; and those that grow deep (without caring about width) are not nearly as deep as they think. 1. Width Without Depth Is Unfaithful. When a church produces converts who aren’t really

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