Tony Merida makes the case that believers who are following the Great Commission are a part of church planting, that the two go hand-in-hand.
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The command that’s given to the whole church is the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16–20), which technically is make disciples, and that central command orbiting around it are these actions of going, baptizing, teaching. And so, I would say every Christian, every church member, must be about the Great Commission.
But what I would say about church planting is that the Great Commission points us to church planting, because the context in which we baptize, teach, and disciple is the church. And so, we are going to make disciples among all nations in view of planting churches.
I think you see that pattern unfold in the book of Acts: Peter preaches on the day of Pentecost, and 3,000 people are converted. What happens immediately after that is that you see an early Christian community, a church being formed. And regarding teaching, they’re devoted to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42), so discipleship is taking place there in that church. And then, as you work your way through the Book of Acts, you see Paul’s pattern of going into major cities and preaching the gospel. And he would then establish elders, leaders, to make sure sound doctrine is in place, and then he would move on to another city.
So it wasn’t just evangelism, it was evangelism and discipleship in view of church planting. And that multiplication process is to be repeated as the church goes from generation to generation. So, to be a Great Commission Christian, by extension is to be a Christian who is also devoted to church planting.