Our purpose is to express our love for God by obeying the command of our Lord Jesus Christ to make disciples as we meet people at the point of need.
Over the last several years we have come to the conclusion the most effective way to make disciples is to use a method employed by our Savior. Jesus give us a model we can effectively use today to make disciples who can make disciples. We desire to obey the "Great Commission" found in Mathew 28.
Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
One appropriate way to do what we have been instructed is to "Teach, Preach, and Heal" within an atmosphere grounded in prayer. The Lord modeled this behavior in many places but it is especially obvious in the book of Matthew. The gospel of Matthew records what Jesus did during his earthly ministry that allowed him to confidently declare from the cross "it is finished." Matthew 9:35-38 provides the basis for our disciple making efforts.
Matthew 9:35-38 (KJV)
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Jesus Christ went to the synagogues and taught the people that claimed they had a relationship with God and had joined with others to express their belief. He taught them what the Scriptures meant and how they applied to the current situation and to the future. The Lord also spoke to the masses in public. Jesus boldly declared the truth in a multitude of ways that were designed to obey the Father's will and cause the hearers to do the same. In the midst of preaching and teaching our Lord demonstrated great compassion by healing all kinds of hurts and pain. He showed signs of his power and of his mercy. He readily dispensed hope to those who were the outcasts of society while he confused and humbled the powerful and privileged. All he did was couched in prayer.
It is important for us to bathe all of our attempts to "Teach, Preach, and Heal" in prayer. We want to be guided by God in applying this methodology in ways that are right for First Baptist Church of Garrettsville at this time in history. The great commission demands that we develop opportunities for each of the members of this fellowship to fulfill their God ordained potential in ways that honor our Father in heaven and build up the Body of Christ.
Honoring God is always a tall and noble task. We believe the Spirit of God will empower us to follow the example of Jesus as we
Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The work before us is exciting. It demands our all. Prayerfully we move forward in the power of the Spirit in the name of Jesus and in obedience to the Father. This will cause us to make disciples as we meet people at their point of need.