PARABLE: Modern Variations on the Great Commission.

G. PARABLE: Modern Variations on the Great Commission. Experts have considered updating the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to be more realistic, relevant and descriptive of how churches actually organize their work today. Please consider which of the adaptations below most fits the way your church actually implements the Great Commission.

1. Huh?

2. Let us go to disciple making worship and hear the excellent teaching.

3. Great singing, great choir, great sermon; who could ask for anything more?

4. Go see the people you already know. Learn about church activities.

5. Go among your neighbors, showing love, demonstrating who Jesus is.

6. Go far away to strangers you will never see again; make a bold witness of your

            awesome personal faith to a standing ovation.

7. Go, feed the hungry and thirsty, baptize them. Repeat.

8. Go, baptize them.

9. Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my

            house may be filled.

10. Open the doors wide for the spiritually and physically hungry to join us at the


11. Don’t go, sit. It will be over soon for another week.

12. Make church members. Teach them in Sunday school.

13. Give so that missionaries can go, evangelists can make disciples and Sunday

            school teachers can teach them.

14. Don’t go. Don’t make disciples. Don’t baptize them. Don’t observe all that Jesus


15. Come. Be highly committed; serve the Lord with gladness. Bring a covered dish.

16. Go, form committees. Involve the lost. Keep them busy until they resemble us.

17. Go, as you’re gifted. Make disciples among your neighbors. Love them, help

            them worship, grow in faith and find their calling.

18. Go, make disciples. There’s another typo in the bulletin.

19. What this place needs is a lot more activity.

20. Go, fix up the building. Refinish the baptismal font. Make it pretty, as Jesus


21. Love one another. Consider alternatives, but don’t rock the boat.

22. Go. Learn about all Jesus taught. Study it again in greater depth.

23. We’re short on help again this year for the chicken noodle dinner.

24. Love the new carpet in the sanctuary. Won’t be able to pay apportionments

            again this year.

25. Go. Go, go. Go, go, go. Go, go, go, go . . .

HOMEWORK Discussion Questions:

4.01 Which statement above offends you most (your sacred cow)?

4.02 Which statement above amuses you most (someone else’s sacred cow)?

4.03 Which statements realistically portray what your church does to make disciples?

4.04 What sort of church results from practicing each variation? Recognize some?

4.05 What’s left out of each and every one of these variations?





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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