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Is the mission of the local church to evangelize and produce disciples? Or is it to do justice and transform culture? Or is it an equal emphasis and combination of both? What do you think?

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To evangelize and produce disciples.If we are successful in that, it will in turn facilitate justice and work towards transforming our culture into one that looks more like the Kingdom of God!

Even if we could do justice and transform culture, without turning people to Christ, what is the purpose?

The answer is discovered in the Acts of the Apostles. The name of the book is apt because it tells of the actions of the first leaders of the Church (the apostles) as they went about carrying out Jesus final instructions (Acts 1:2, 4-5, 8) to take the good news – the Story of Jesus to the whole world. Everywhere they went they and other disciples proclaimed the transformative news of Jesus the Messiah, His death and resurrection. 

Nowhere did they get involved in politics, get involved in "justice" or try to "transform culture." No doubt transformed disciples did justice and good works personally and corporately (Matthew 5:16) as Jesus did (Acts 10:36-38). Nowhere do we see Jesus Himself fighting the politically powers that existed (the Roman government and regional king) for "justice," except His reprimand of the Jewish religious leaders and this mainly for hypocrisy. 

Jesus came to reveal God (bring God into sharp focus), provide the means of salvation for the peoples of the world through His death and resurrection, and to leave us a model for making reproductive disciples (John 17; Matthew 28:18-20).

It is a faithful saying, "Jesus came into the world to save sinners!" The church, all disciples, are mandated to make disciples of all nations. This is Jesus' commission to the Church.

Nuke

And/Both. There are three streams of Christian activity predominate in the world today: Compassion/Justice in response to Jesus' "Compassion Mandate" found in Matthew 25, Evangelism in response to Jesus' "Mission Mandate" found in Matthew 24:14, and Church Planting/Disciple-Making in respond to Jesus "Great Commission." The question we must ask is what preserves the fruit of these endeavors? For too long the Evangelical, and more so the Christian movement at large, as been myopic in their approach. None of these are sufficient in and of themselves. It's like a chair with only 3 legs instead of 4 and so it tips over and cannot adequately serve the purpose for which is is designed. What then is the 4th leg of the chair you ask? We believe it is pastoral training. That forth leg, as Paul instructs Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:2, is to train those who are called of God to lead well. Pastoral training preserves the fruit of  these other three legs bringing them into proper balance around our great need to serve as agents teaching others to obey all that Jesus commands. http://www.thediscipleshipnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/disciple-makin...

I am a simple minded follower of Christ. I truly believe we should lessen the use of the word, "Evangelize"! We should focus more on the use of Making Disciples. Depending on which definition you land on, to evangelize someone is either to share the Gospel with some one or get someone to convert to Christianity. Neither is the clear command of the Great Commission! We were not commanded to make "Converts", we were clearly directed to make disciples!

Jerry, actually Jesus gives us the command to "evangelize," share the Good News, in Matthew 24:14. Teaching follows proclamation. The Great Commission has two parts, as should the disciple-making process - make disciples and teach them to obey. Evangelism does not need to be the obnoxious Bible-thumping guy on a street corner holding a sign that reads "Repent Ye Sinner." But the Good News does need to be explained so it can be understood and received.  Only then can discipleship be effective. Ed Stetzer recently wrote: "The truth is evident; a large percentage of our country—and world—is confused about who God is and from where salvation comes. While our behavior as Christians is certainly important, we cannot live out our daily lives as Christians as if that is all the gospel our neighbors need to see. We must tell them." Evangelism is the telling. Even in the model of discipleship that Jesus taught his disciples (Luke 10), we see the telling first - "tell them the Kingdom of God has come near" - and then the staying in discipleship relationship when the message was received. Shalom.

Jerry Stark said:

I am a simple minded follower of Christ. I truly believe we should lessen the use of the word, "Evangelize"! We should focus more on the use of Making Disciples. Depending on which definition you land on, to evangelize someone is either to share the Gospel with some one or get someone to convert to Christianity. Neither is the clear command of the Great Commission! We were not commanded to make "Converts", we were clearly directed to make disciples!

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