The mission of the Church of Christ is distinctive. All institutions have a mission statement. This mission statement is often presented to potential customers so that they might understand certain facts about that institution. A mission statement sets forth the purpose for existence; the dedication towards service; the goals anticipated by that institution. Perhaps, there might other themes set forth in mission statements, but these three stand out in all mission statements. The mission statement of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is set forth by the Lord just prior to His ascension into heaven.

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (NKJV)

Mark 16:15-16 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (NKJV)

The mission statement of many churches, today, can be found written in their own creeds or other documents that set forth their mission and purpose for existence. Some of these mission statement declare that their mission is to gain as many members as possible, or their mission is strictly in numbers. Some have set forth the mission to gain social or political power. Such institutions, when going into mission fields outside the United States have difficulty with the governments of those countries. Their difficulty lies at the heart of their mission statement. They seek to change the social and political structure of those countries. No wonder that some countries are so hard on missionaries! There are some whose mission is to gain total world dominance. If you look closely at these various mission statements, you can, perhaps, find other goals set forth than what we have herein presented. The main point being made is that they have a mission that is distinct and it sets them apart from others. Also, it is distinct from the Lord's mission statement.

THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

The church of Christ has but one mission: The saving of lost souls! If we study, carefully, the two scriptures that set forth the mission statement for the Church, we can observe the three essential elements of any mission statement. As we study these statements, compare them with the mission statement of the church where you attend. Are they the same? How do they compare with the Lord's mission statement?

SAVING LOST SOULS

The purpose for the existence of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is simple - TO SAVE LOST SOULS. This is stated at the beginning of these verses. Observe: MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS. To make a disciple is to convert someone to the teachings of Christ. A disciple is someone who follows the teachings of another. If we are a disciple of Christ, then we have pledged our devotion to Him and are willing to follow after Him in all things. Jesus speaks of this characteristic:

Matthew 10:24-25a "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master…"(NKJV)

Paul, later puts this mission into simple terms: "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)" Paul's life was devoted to being just like His Lord and savior. He could say, with confidence, that if someone patterned their life after his, that they were in turn patterning their lives after Christ. We should so live our lives before the world that as they see us they see Christ living within us.

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Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him."