The Great Commission
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The Great Commandment was given to individuals; the Great Commission was given to the Church. The active verb in the Commission is “teach”-- make disciples. The way we teach is expressed in the participles in the verse: “going”, “baptizing”, and “teaching to observe.”
Note especially the premise in verse 18: Jesus has been given all authority. He could have chosen to accomplish his mission in any manner whatsoever. In fact, he has chosen the particular method expressed in the Great Commission--he has chosen to involve us in his service to bring about the Kingdom of God. In the grace of God, he has permitted us to be “fellow laborers together with God” and to have an active role in what God is doing in the world today.