Unfortunately when many Christians think of the Great Commission they think exclusively of its call to evangelize the world, to bring men and women and children who do not know Christ into His kingdom. But this does not accurately capture the extent of the commission. For Jesus commissions His Church, commissions the apostles, not only to bring folks into the kingdom – baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – He also commissions them to teach and equip those disciples to serve and obey the risen Lord – teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. Evangelism and discipleship are the twin duties of the Christian Church – not simply to make disciples but to equip them to glorify and honor Christ; not simply to give birth to children but to raise them up to serve Christ. And it is this latter duty, the duty not only to propagate children but to train them, that Paul identifies as his burden for the Colossians. My calling is not just to beget children but to raise them to maturity – this is why I preach, this is why I labor, this is why I write.