Outreach is fulfilling a command
Jesus’ final instruction in Matthew 28:19-20 is “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.” The idea of sending missionaries isn’t merely a modern practice. This originated as a command from Jesus to his eleven disciples who were with Him just before his resurrection.
Jesus’ disciples did a masterful job getting this discipleship thing going. Eleven ordinary men heard and obeyed Jesus’ command, and generations of obedient followers have remained faithful to that command. Today, His church remains strong and continues to flourish! This is the core of outreach, making disciples who will make disciples of others, so that everyone in this generation, and the generations that follow, will hear the Gospel and have a chance to know Him personally.
Outreach and missions are important, but …
Around the globe a lot of time and money are invested into missions, so surely it must be one of the most important priorities of the church, right? John Piper answers this so eloquently,
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.
Until the end of this age, it is necessary to continue to make disciples, the work of outreach and missions. It is also important to regularly gather as a corporate body of believers to worship our Lord. It is equally important to spend time individually with the Lord, daily, in praise, worship and adoration of Him. Oh, that the whole world would know Jesus, to worship Him, and be counted as His friend.
That the World would know
At CBC we take the command of making disciples of all nations seriously, which is why we invest in planting churches and developing leaders.
Planting churches is a natural outgrowth of making disciples. When people are called to follow Jesus, those new believers will be drawn to meet together. If no church already exists for the new believers to meet in a location, then a new church will need to be formed, with appropriate biblically based leadership and governance. Crossroads partners with church planters to form new churches, providing encouragement, prayer, training, and support, until they are soundly rooted and standing healthy on their own.
Leadership development is also crucial for the growth and sustenance of the church. Whether working in another culture or with a future generation in our home culture, developing leaders native to the local environment is the best way to start and maintain healthy churches. As a result, our focus is to work alongside of, to train and encourage, local leaders to be the primary disciple-makers in their native-language and culture.
Where in the world?
Outreach is done somewhere other than “here," internationally, right? Jesus taught that “here” is just as important as “there." Some of His final words spoken on earth, in Acts 1:8, are “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus was speaking to the apostles in Jerusalem telling them they would be His witnesses in “the local city” of Jerusalem. Then to all of Judea, which is similar to saying “in our local state." He then references Samaria, which was a nearby, yet foreign, nation. And finally, to the end of the earth, to all people, nations, and tongues. Outreach is just as important in our own city as it is internationally, to our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends, whether locally or globally.
How and where is the Lord prompting you to make disciples? Is it across the street, in the office, with your college friends or sports teammates? Maybe He’s been prompting you to go someplace farther or bigger. Whatever the call, stop and give thanks to the Lord, praise Him for his faithfulness in your life, and listen to His voice, his call, to where He wants to use you for His outreach. Finally, obey His call in your life.
- Mark Grotte, Minister of Global Outreach
 John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions, 3rd edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010), 15.