"Go" is not the mandate in the Great Comission. Nevertheless, this word has been emphasized so much that it has overshadowed what happens when one gets there. It has become a status symbol among evangelicals while the central words in the Great Commission have been neglected.
"Make disciples" is the mandate. Jesus is the model for such a ministry. In three years he started a movement that would reach the whole world and last forever. To accomplish his task he began by training leaders. Mark records, "He appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach" (Mark 3:14, NASB).
Three years of an intimate, almost unbroken relationship with Jesus prepared these twelve men to be the nucleus of the movement that subsequently turned the world upside down. Their influence continues to this day, nearly 2,000 years later, to nurture the Church Christ is building. Their writings remain the authoritative source for doctrine for the Church; their fellowship the model ...1