10  P E T E C H A R E T T E group setting puts the focus back on the individual disciple. All disciples share a relationship with God in Christ as a unifying principle. But the personal experiences, needs, learning styles, growth rates, and processing abilities of the individual make “mass maturation” impossible. I feel that one of the reasons the Church is shirking its maturation responsibilities is because it is hard, labor-intensive work. To facilitate the maturation of disci- ples one at a time goes squarely against our current “microwave” culture. We think it should be easy, fast, and not require a lot of effort. But the maturation process is exactly the opposite. It takes a huge amount of effort, and it is not quick, nor easy. But the ben- efits of living out God’s mandate for the Church are enormous and eternal. Foundational Concepts There are several foundational concepts that need to be ex- plored in order to gain a more complete understanding of the maturation process. The first of these is found in answering the question, “What is the purpose of Church?” Hundreds of thou- sands of pages have been written on the subject, and clearly that question is too broad for our purposes here. It needs to be nar- rowed down. When I ask, “What is the purpose of Church?” what I am really asking is, “What is the Church’s primary mission?” or “What overarching task has been given to the Church for her to accomplish and for which she is uniquely qualified?” To answer that question, chapter 1 will dive deep into several passages from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, along with Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19–20. Throughout Ephesians, Paul’s flow of thought provides valuable insights as we seek answers. In addition, at the end of Matthew’s gospel, we see the clear command of Jesus to “go therefore, and make disciples of all na- tions, 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” (Matt. 28: 19–20a). But what exactly did Jesus