Is it practical to multiply ministry today like Jesus did in the 1st century? Let me ask you: “Is Jesus only your moral example, or is He also the example of how you do ministry?” So let’s prime the pump with a short, 10-question pop-quiz on Jesus’ ministry. Go through this quickly, fast-paced. Start now.
Now that you have completed the quiz to the right, go over the answers briefly in your group. Then begin to compare and contrast how you presently minister with Jesus’ timeless style. Jesus, the smartest person to ever live, builds to last.
He therefore lays out a three-tier process of ministering that aligns itself with John’s three developmental stages (“little children,” young adults,” “fathers”).
Jesus built from the ground up, “focusing on the few to reach the many.”
This ministry aligns with God’s Eden-creation design and Jesus’ 1st coming purpose to re-create a new race of fully engaged people to partner with Him in reaching out to our generation. Jesus laid a solid, foundational DNA built on the “Kingdom-math” of exponential multiplication (more than addition), as He calls us on this epic adventure with Him.
In time, this depth multiplied “after its kind,” like the 1st creation in Genesis 1 & 2. This ground swell of growth began slowly with Jesus’ disciples since exponential growth begins slowly. However, because Jesus built solidly, His approach has led to the millions of Christians in the world today. It’s the math of exponential multiplication that Jesus has also called us to, first building a solid infrastructure of influencers.
By contrast today, most small group systems put the pressure on a few key leaders to carry out most responsibilities. It’s what our society models with its top-down, expert-driven business leadership philosophy. Many leaders willingly embrace the expert position as “answer man or woman” or “ministry expert” since it does bring a measure of felt value in the short term.
Each and every one of God’s people bears God’s image. So I believe it’s scripturally accurate and practically wise, though, to spread the ownership among the prepared many. “Everyone gets to play” and “equipping comes before empowering” are married together in collaborative ministry. When the Reality of everyday life shatters expectations, this exposes our inner sense of value, providing growth-opportunities. These type experiences belong to the entire faith-community as a treasure and resource. Stay alert for these in yourself and in others.
The answers to how to multiply ministry will be posted next, in Part 2.