Pastor Marc to FBC Diana Family (March 2015)


It is certainly exciting to be part of this church family during times like these. As I type these words our attendance is slowly and steadily increasing, financial giving is outpacing our spending, Life Group participation is growing, missions efforts are taking shape, local evangelism plans are forming, the worship of God through Christ is the main focus of our worship gatherings, and many are voicing their excitement about all that is happening among our congregation. These are exciting times indeed! During times like these, however, it is always good to observe a bit of caution and recommit ourselves to keeping the proper focus.

The caution that we should all understand and consider is that bulging budgets and full auditoriums are not really measurements of success for a local church. It is my conviction that healthy churches will grow numerically and healthy church members will be marked by a fruitful generosity, but healthy churches are not the only ones that grow in numbers and finances. Our success is measured by our ability to accomplish the mission God gives to our local church. Jesus Christ commissioned all those who would follow Him, and His commission is what matters most.

Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20). This statement provides us with a clear mandate from our King and Savior. It tells us what we must do above and before all else. As a local church, it is our great privilege and solemn obligation to MAKE DISCIPLES – Jesus commanded it.

Now that we know what to do, the question rises, “HOW do we make disciples?” Well, the details may not be obvious, but the strategy is laid out in the commission. Jesus said that making disciples includes baptizing people, which tells us that the Gospel should permeate all that we do, so that people will come to know and trust in Christ as Savior. Baptism is the public declaration that one has submitted to Christ as Lord and now loves Him as Savior.

Jesus also said that making disciples includes teaching all that He commanded. This, of course, involves information transfer – one cannot know what Christ has commanded unless they are taught about what Christ said. It also involves active Gospel-centered community. Children learn best by watching their parents live, not merely by listening to their parents lecture, and Christian disciples are much the same. We learn best by hearing and reading the words of God and watching others live according to what we have just heard and read. Making disciples, then, includes both teaching and living together in Gospel-centered community.

I pray that we all may find our hearts enlivened by the commission that Christ has given to us. I pray also that we would be a healthy and successful church family as we seek to do that which our Savior and Lord has commissioned us to do. I hope you will join me in praying for and in working diligently towards this goal.

Your pastor,

Marc Minter