For the most part, church members do not engage in the great commission at a personal level but rather by contributing resources so that the corporate body can send out a “Great Commission Expert” (missionary) to do it for them. However, this is a far cry from what the Lord intended when He issued the Commission.
Modern believers have convinced themselves that spiritual maturity is based on information and that it takes a long time. However, if one follows the New Testament pattern, mature disciples were made in short order. They were tested by persecution and stood! The secret was the absolute insistence on personal obedience to the demands and expectations of Scripture. This is the forgotten side of the Great Commission in many churches today.
Many contemporary approaches to the Great Commission have focused on the Lord’s instruction to go to all nations. In other words, for them, the dominant responsibility of the commission is to go to the nations. However, the grammar of the Lord’s statement makes clear that the central imperative of the Commission is the making of disciples. That central imperative will be accomplished by three accompanying activities – going, baptizing, and teaching.
Matthew’s Great Commission is deeply rooted in broader theological soil than only recruiting disciples from all the nations for Messiah’s future kingdom. Those roots extend in at least four directions.
By our example and teaching, we desire to cultivate a love for God's Word and the understanding that it stands far above all else. For us in America, this is often fleshed out as "Scriptural Truth over Psychology." For the Third World citizen, this could very well be fleshed out as "Scriptural Truth over Indigenous Spirit Beliefs." What is important is the heart assuring belief and trust in the sufficiency of Scripture.
The Church Planter's goal in leadership development is to see God-exalting independent Baptist churches with trained national leadership. This outcome is not realized by chance. The church planter must demonstrate openness, communicate, and have the humility to give and receive correction and criticism. (Phil. 2:1-18)
One mistake church planters make is not incorporating a comprehensive approach to discipleship from day 1 of the new church plant.