The Great Commission was a popular passage many commit to memory, though now 51% of church-goers don’t know this term. But those who do know it, know well that Christians are to go out into the world and lead people to salvation and baptize them. Throughout the last century we have done plenty of that, but not so much of the other part of the Commission: teach new disciples to observe all that Jesus has commanded us. Investigations like the Reveal study many years back have shown us that, while salvation numbers are high, discipleship numbers are low. I believe this is why Americans often lose faith in the church.
When Atari ruled over the video game industry, they published any and every game that came their way, no matter how quickly they were made or how poorly constructed they were. The gaming market was oversaturated and customers had no idea what to buy. And since there was only one good game for every ten or so, customers lost faith not only in Atari, but video games altogether. In time, Americans lost interest in video games and Atari’s empire collapsed.
Nintendo knew this predicament, so when they started bringing their Japanese games to America, they did so wisely as they needed to win the culture back. To do this, they put time limits on how often publishers could release games for their console. They also added a badge to their own personal releases that said, “seal of quality,” in order to assure their customers that they were worth the investment.
The American church sometimes feels like Atari instead of Nintendo. But the Great Commission is also a Nintendo effort. Generate new believers? Yes. Baptize them? Yes. Teach them all Jesus has commanded us so they can carry a seal of quality on their lives? Also yes.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Matthew 28:11-20 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net. Check it out for greater detail. Below are the various AI-created pictures I typed into existence via Mid Journey to mock up artwork for today’s post.