THE INCREASE: Scott Linebrink - The Great Commission

As followers of Christ, we have been given the Great Commission (Matthew 28), which states that we must go into the world and make disciples of all nations, teach them to obey and baptize in the name of Jesus. However, before we can live out those instructions, we must first consider the Great Commandment from John to love our neighbor as ourselves. For without a genuine concern for others and their value in God’s economy, we can’t truly begin to understand how God wants to use us to impact the Kingdom.

God has placed you in a mission field. Every day there are opportunities to live as a light in a world of darkness. When I played baseball, the clubhouse was the place where I could perform a small act of service, offer a word of encouragement or lend an ear to a hurting teammate.

Since retirement, God has given me a new mission field and broadened my knowledge of the world and how He wants to use me through a ministry called Water Mission. He is faithful to allow the talents and skill set He’s blessed me with to help people by providing safe water and sharing the hope of the Gospel.

Regardless of our position, we all have an opportunity to take part in the Great Commission. Ministering to people through the provision of basic needs is an effective method for spreading God’s love. Once others witness a genuine demonstration of love, they are more likely to hear the reason behind it. Someone once said, “Teach the Gospel wherever you go and if necessary, use words.” I’m motivated by this statement to let my actions attest to the faith that lives within my heart.

I have a quote on my desk: ”Poverty destroys the body and crushes the soul. Alleviation of it is a sacred task.” Our attitude toward the poor is a direct reflection of what we believe. God doesn’t just prefer that we love the poor, He commands it. The only way we can truly eliminate poverty is to become a community of sufferers. God calls us to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). As Christians, we have a responsibility to invest our lives to love others. This happens in a variety of practical ways, but it cannot begin until the individual accepts that responsibility and decides to become an element of change.

God gives each of us passions that He can use to fulfill the Great Commission and grow His Kingdom. He’s prepared good works for us in advance that He’s eager for us to realize. I would encourage you to identify those passions and pray about how God wants to make you an element of change for the Kingdom. Finding it and living it out each day is the greatest definition of success.

“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19-20

— Scott Linebrink, former MLB pitcher

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit for more stories and videos.