The life of Jesus is an amazing example of focus. To be able to spend three years in touching the lives of people and the echo of those actions are still being multiplied through those who follow Him should drive us to examine what He did to create such a movement. Many say, “of course, He was the Messiah, the Lord of Lords, ministry was different for Him.” Now I know comparing our lives with Jesus is like comparing a bird and an F18 Fighter Jet. But do we miss something if we quickly make the transition from what He did to what we could do. Let’s lay the titles of “Messiah” and “Lord” aside and look at a simply method Jesus used to create a catylist for life-change.
In Mark 3:13-16 it says, “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve-designating them apostles-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” In this passage Jesus picks twelve people to speak a message of His arrival and set people free from the spiritual prison of demonic possession. How did Jesus develop this rag-tag group to perform such amazing tasks? What training method, what motivational technology, what speech would Jesus give to light the fire in the heart of each disciple to achieve this great mission? Well, Jesus had a two pronged strategy: to BE WITH THEM and SEND THEM OUT. That’s it. That’s the miraculous plan that would turn the world upside down within a matter of 21 years. Jesus would spend time with them, rubbing off his character and priorities through daily interaction and periodically send them out to interact with those in need. As the disciples would return Jesus would interact with them (see 4:34) and then send them out again (see 6:7-13). This process would happen over and over again until it became a lifestyle.
Could God-centered ministry really be that simple? Have we made ministry more about formulas and tricks to attracting crowds than having intentional relationships. Have we equated large auditoriums, awesome light shows, fantastic “worship” bands to be REALLY effective ministry. Has “church” become a place were in one moment you can be singing to the God of the universe while being completely content in never knowing who you are sitting beside? Has church become more about a tight, relevant message based on the latest hot movie title yet losing it’s potency for change somewhere between the back door of the auditorium and the front door of your house? Ministry may be hard in a world filled with distractions, but to Jesus it was not complex.