This post is part of a series taking a deeper look at the mission of Switchboard. Put simply: What does Switchboard do? We are going to break it down, point-by-point. (Spoiler alert: we didn’t come up with this idea on our own.) This is Part 1.
Some of you have been around Switchboard for a long time. Some of you are new here (welcome!) Either way, we wanted to dive deep into explaining the mission of Switchboard: Advancing the Gospel through the global church by equipping indigenous leaders. What does this mean?
Switchboard Missions is a single-issue organization. We are about one thing and one thing alone: discipleship. Our hope, our prayer, our passion, our longing, our mission is to make disciples of all nations, and we believe this best happens through the training and development of indigenous church leaders. Therefore, that is ALL we do.
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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV)
In this passage, Jesus is addressing his disciples in one of their very last conversations. These 11 men had trusted and followed Jesus over the past three years, giving up everything to follow him. During that time, Jesus had trained and equipped them to lead, and now he was leaving them to fulfill the task of starting the church as we know it today. It all lay on the shoulders of these 11 men, and he leaves them with ONE command. Given, many would look at the verse and see FOUR commands – go, make disciples, baptize, and teach – but in the original Greek, only one of those is actually written in the imperative mood. Only one is a true command: make disciples. The going, baptizing, and teaching are simply the formula for doing this.
Christians know of the need to go into the world, and we are passionate to see people hear the gospel, become believers, and be baptized into the church. Rarely, though, do we move to the third and final step: teaching. Yet this is the most integral part of the discipleship process. Teams may be sent and people may come to know Christ, but, without teaching, they have no idea what it means to live the Christian life or lead Christ’s church. Without teaching, there is no discipleship.
Join us tomorrow for Part 2 – Equipping.