SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 | VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 3
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” -Philippians 2:14-16
The world is in a state of dire crisis. We see throughout the world that suffering, destruction, and agony are running rampant. Not only is it physically we see these things in the world, but also spiritually. The Bible explicitly teaches that Satan “leads the whole world astray” and “that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (Rev. 12:9, 1 Jn. 5:19) Satan has crafted the world in such a way that to be a disciple of Christ is to go completely against the grain. This is why the need for leadership is so great in our day. Christian leaders are the one and only hope to save the world. Jesus believed this wholeheartedly which is why with his last words, he proclaimed to the faithful eleven to “Go and make disciples of all nations!” (Mt 28:18-20)
This was Jesus’ method for building a multiplying ministry. We see in the gospels that Jesus had phases of ministry. Phase 1 is found in Mark 1:16-20 where he is all alone. It is just him walking along the sea of Galilee. He is the only person in the entire world who knows the truth. He begins his ministry by calling four fishermen to come follow him. He focused on the few because he knew that leadership was the only way to multiply himself. If you focus on everyone, you focus on no one! So he pours himself into these select few so that they could witness his way of life personally.
He then begins Phase 2 of his ministry which is found in John 3:22-23. Here Jesus now is training his few by teaching them how to baptize. Jesus was the one doing the grunt of the work in baptizing, but the apostles learned from observing and having minor roles. Every disciple has to learn how to be effective in ministry, evangelism, or any other area of life. Becoming a leader requires training!
“After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.” – John 3:22-23
Phase 3 of Jesus’ ministry is where now the apostles are the ones baptizing and Jesus takes on a supervisory role. (John 4:1-2) You now can see the raising up of leaders happening! The apostles were now trained enough to be able to continue the work of baptizing without Jesus being directly involved. They were becoming the “Jesus” of their ministry.
“Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John-although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.” – John 4:1-2
Next, phase 4 is where the apostles are sent out on their own. This is found in Luke 9:1-6. The effect of raising up leaders is found in only 5 verses later as in Luke 9:10 there are five thousand who gather to hear the word of God. What an amazing church service!
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” – Luke 9:1-2
Phase 5 is where now not only are there the 12, but now there are the 72. In Luke 10:1-24, Jesus sends out his next tier of leadership underneath the apostles: the 72! The Bible notes that when Jesus saw this he “full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.’” Jesus was so excited about the multiplication of leaders because he knew that this was the only way to save the world!! The final phase of Jesus’ ministry is found in Matthew 28:18-20 where he ascends back to Heaven and now the apostles are the ones in charge. No more training wheels, nor more practice, now it was on them to go and change the world. Jesus showed and taught them how to change the world on a smaller scale of Galilee, Jerusalem, and the surrounding countryside. But now it was on them to go into all the world and “turn it upside down.” (Acts 17:6 RSV)
I would like to clarify what is meant when from the pulpit it is preached, “Jesus was a leader! You are called to be a leader as well!” This is not to say that every single person in the church is going to be the mission team leader to Baghdad, Afghanistan. Being a leader in God’s church does not mean that you will always be the one preaching from the pulpit. It simply means that you lead others. Now for some, that very well could be the calling to be an evangelist or women’s ministry leader. But more than anything, I want to convince you to be a leader of non-Christians. This is what I meant when Jesus calls us to be “fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) We are all called to be fishers of men; therefore, we are all called to be leaders!
As a church, we must have the mentality to raise up leaders. The raising up of leaders within the church is the key to having a multiplying ministry. The more leaders that we have, the more disciples that we can handle. The membership of the church will never go past the capacity of the church. So, what is the solution? Leadership! My prayer is that we all grab a vision and become the leaders that God has called every one of us to be. There are so many avenues in which to be a leader! You can be a BibleTalk Leader, a Song Leader, the Head Usher, a Web Deacon, a MERCY Coordinator, a Shepherding Couple, the Head Greeter, a Women’s BibleTalk Leader, a Kids Kingdom Coordinator, an Evangelist, and a Women’s Ministry Leader! Now is the time to believe that God can transform you into a powerful leader in his kingdom!