That may not sound right, but please hear me out. The main verb of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 is “make disciples.” There is a big difference between evangelism and discipleship.
Evangelism is one of the steps in making disciples. It is an indispensable step. You cannot make disciples unless you first do evangelism. It is possible to do evangelism without discipleship but it is not possible to do discipleship without evangelism. Evangelism is a means… discipleship is the end for the Great Commission. Evangelism is the front door to the family of God and discipleship trains the new believer how to live in that home.
Having the right goal is critical since it is possible to succeed at the wrong thing. If a missionary went to Africa and “led” 1000 people to Christ but did not stay to disciple them, he would not have fulfilled the Great Commission. The Harvesters blog of the IFCA is meant to be a catalyst and resource for evangelism but this must be seen in the bigger context of the Christian life. All of us should be involved in evangelism because it is the stepping stone to “making disciples.” Ultimately, however, we must be aiming to help new believers to “obey all” that Christ has commanded.
So evangelism is a big deal but let’s not stop short of the over-all goal.
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