Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations. Does your church’s organizational structure help or hinder your fulfillment of the Great Commission? To answer that question, let’s break down Matthew 28:18-20.
Factors that Determine if Organizational Structures Help or Hinder the Fulfillment of the Great Commission
1) Centrality of Jesus’ Authority in All We Do
Jesus began His great commission by asserting, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). All we do must come under His leadership. We must follow His direction, as accountable to Him. We hinder the fulfillment of the Great Commission when we follow the ways of the world or do what seems right in our own eyes.
2) Fluidity in Organizational Structure
The Great Commission is about going and making disciples. Organization mustn’t keep us bogged down and focused on ourselves and our own needs if it’s going to help us fulfill Jesus’ mission. Rather, it should enable us to be responsive and adaptive to the world around us in ways that make an eternal difference.
3) Allegiance to a Person, Not an Entity
Notice that we’re to be baptizing people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In so doing, they’re identifying with Him. We hinder the fulfillment of the Great Commission when we expect allegiance to the church as an organization rather than point people to the Lord as the One who should be their all-in-all.
4) Non-Compartmentalized Integrity
We are to be teaching people to obey ALL Jesus commanded. Hence, no area of our personal lives or church life is off limits. We bring EVERYTHING under Him. What we do as a Church should provide a pattern for everyday life in Christ. If people see us compartmentalizing in how we bring organization to the church, with aspects of it being more worldly than godly, what are we really teaching them?
5) Unobscured Focus on the Lord
Jesus concluded the Great Commission with, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Obviously then, anything we do that obscures His presence, hinders the fulfillment of His mission. When our eyes are focused more on what we do than on Him, it’s as though we’re depending on our organizational structures to enable us to fulfill His purpose and mission.
These factors don’t make organizing taboo for the Church but rather keep it in check. Organization must help, not hinder, us from fulfilling His design, purpose and mission and design for the Church.