Jesus’s modus operandi was to start large and end up small. Throughout his ministry, Jesus spoke to large crowds. He taught them and called them to follow Him. Jesus didn’t simply speak to large crowds for the majority of His ministry. He focused in on twelve people where He teaches them more specifically. He’s speaking into their lives on a unique level. He’s training them to be like Him. He’s grooming them to carry the mission forward. But Jesus doesn’t stop at twelve. He dials into three specific people and goes to an even deeper level with them. They see things the other twelve don’t see. They experience things the crowds never would. These three became pillars in the church.
So what does this mean? Jesus is showing us a model for how we should train and make disciples. We need all the elements in order to be well-rounded disciples. We must be part of the initial crowd where we hear the message and apply it. WE must have smaller groups of people with whom we live life with and learn from on a more intimate level. We must also have deep close relationships in even smaller groups so that we can truly be accountable and grow deeply in our love for the Lord and for others.
We must also note that the call is to a person not to a place. When we are sharing Christ with others, we are not simply telling them to go to a place. We aren’t inviting them to come to church. We are inviting them to form a relationship with Christ. We are calling them to a person not simply a location. The weekend gathering of our church is an amazing thing. Mark Dever describes it as a time “to hear God’s word read and preached, to witness faith professed in baptism and to take the Lord’s Supper, to pray and sing together, to teach and give, to encourage one another, to bear one another’s burdens and sorrows, and to know and be known.” These times are a great entry point for new believers, but we must not see the gathering as the place where we drop off new believers in hopes of them getting saved. The weekends are where people can see the unity we have in Christ and the joy that a gathered church brings.
We must also note that the call is to a person not to a place. When we are sharing Christ with others, we are not simply telling them to go to a place.
The people of God are to be ready to give an answer for the hope that they have! Knowing Jesus personally involves knowing who He is, what He has done, and how He operates. We need to know the reliability of scripture and how we can know God through it. This knowledge is necessary to be a disciple of Christ but it is never meant to puff up and place us in an ivory tower. Theological training is designed to create a deeper love for Christ and for His people. The more we know about Christ, the more we will want to share that with others.
Community in the life of the believer is extremely important. The Christian life is not designed to be private. It is designed to be shared with others. Just as Jesus had twelve disciples who He live His day-to- day life with, we must have people surrounding us that we share our lives with. Christian growth often happens in the context of the everyday, messy lives of those around us. Simply attending classes and weekend services is not enough to live a robust Christian life. We must let people into the mess that we call our lives in order for us to grow and mature.
Christian growth often happens in the context of the everyday, messy lives of those around us.
Lastly, we are sent. As we’ve been discussing at length in the past few weeks, our lives are to be lived on mission. We are to be everyday missionaries as we go through our lives. Again, for more practical steps and tips on sharing Jesus, RealityLA has an excellent series of short videos on how to share Jesus. Jesus commands His followers to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), but often we as Christians struggle to know how to share the truth effectively and regularly in our daily lives. These short videos help us navigate these issues by sharing seven simple steps for being missionaries in our everyday lives. Each of these videos are approximately two minutes long and offer thoughtful ways to engage our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members with the good news of Jesus Christ.