If you were asked to inform the world about the most important message they will ever hear, how would you do it? My mind immediately goes to thoughts of mass marketing, strategic partnerships, financial backing, and memorable presentations. After all if you want to influence people you have to go big and get your message in front of the right people as quickly as possible.
But in the Gospels we read of an entirely different approach. In Mark 1 Jesus arrives on the scene and declares that the Kingdom of God has come. God is here, in the flesh. And through the work of Jesus Christ humanity will now have the opportunity to be reconnected to God by faith in Jesus Christ and through His grace. This is truly the greatest news the world has ever heard. You might think that Jesus would then go to kings or even the Roman emperor to get this message out. But instead He does something entirely different. He spends all of his life in a small, no name country. And He primarily invests His life in a few, very unlikely, men whom He disciples.
And then, we come to Mark 6 in which we see Jesus begin to honor His commitment back in Mark 1 to make these disciples (some of whom were fishermen) into fishers of men. He pairs them off and sends them out in His name and authority to advance the Kingdom of God. The passage reports how the disciples did just that, calling people to repent, healing the sick, and casting out demonic spirits. This would be a foretaste of what the disciples would later do following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. The disciples in turn train up more disciples of Jesus, who in turn make more disciples, who make more disciples. As a result the good news of the Gospel spreads across the globe. The word gets out.
As I previously stated before, this is not how I would have done it. And by the looks of much of our strategic discussions within the American church many would agree with me. Sure, we are getting the word out, but are we really making disciples?
What I have begun to realize is that maybe it is time for us to get back to spreading the gospel and making disciples the way Jesus did. Maybe it is time to focus more on a few than the many. Maybe it is time to invest more deeply in the lives of a few people who will in turn invest deeply in a few people. This eventually results in an exponential growth of disciples who make disciples.
I am not advocating for doing away with large evangelistic crusades or outreach events. After all my own father came to faith in Christ at a Billy Graham event. But I am asking if more of our time should be spent intentionally investing in a few people who will in turn take what we pour into them and pour it into the lives of others.
So, who has God placed in your path that you can invest in? Who is someone you can share with all that you have heard and learned about Jesus?