The Jesus Way of Doing Ministry
And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and He might send them out to preach (Mark 3:13-14 ESV)
This is perhaps one of the most powerful passages in the Bible that demonstrates the concept of teamwork. We all know that Jesus was an all in One package - Son of God, King of Kings, Prince of Peace, etc. The Bible says that He had the Spirit without measure, meaning that He consistently walked and operated on 'Full', whereas most of us tend to hover between empty and perhaps a quarter of a tank! Yet, though He walked in absolute power, authority and definitely compassion, one of the first items on His agenda was to select and build a team.
If Jesus needed a team, then what makes us think we can accomplish all God has called us to without one? The size of your team will determine the size of your dream. You don't have everything - you are not Jesus. God has uniquely gifted you AND He has uniquely LIMITED you! He does not want isolated followers who feel they don't need anyone else.
I have had the privilege of working for several ministries, and have worked under plenty of different leadership models and setting. I am grateful for all of them. I would not be who I am today were it not for being allowed to work in those various capacities, exploring and expanding the gifting that God placed on my life. Looking at the above verses, combined with past ministry experience, I'd like to share a couple of observations;
1. "...and He appointed twelve.....so that they might BE WITH HIM....." This is so powerful to me. Many ministry leaders live very isolated lives, even from their most important staff. Why? Well, ministry leaders are human like everyone else. Often they are insecure and don't know how to interact. They have massive pressure. Sometimes they are afraid if others discover they are not perfect, they won't be respected anymore. The old saying is true in regards to ministry, Leadership is Lonely. However, in the Jesus style of ministry, look at the first reason He chose the men; '...so they might BE WITH HIM...' Wow! How sad that as preachers we work so hard to get people to surrender and follow Jesus, encouraging people who are swallowed up in shame, insecurity, rejection and condemnation to run to Jesus and fall in His arms, reminding them always that Jesus is an ever present help in a time of trouble. Yet...the very pastors who encourage people to come to a 'touchable' Jesus are 'untouchables' themselves. This is not the way it should be. It is impossible to spend all of your time with everybody, but you should invest your time with somebody. We know that Jesus had an agenda, He came to seek and to save the lost, He came to give His life as a ransom, He came to show us the Father, and so much more. But He first gave His life to those men in a strong level of community. Mary, the brother of Lazarus and Martha, understood this well as she would sit at His feet for hours to hear Him speak.
2 "...and He might send them out to preach." His mission for them came after His mission with them. Jesus modeled ministry in 'real time' with His disciples and then sent them out to do the same. Living in close proximity to Jesus allowed them to see His compassion, mercy, love, righteous indignation, prayers, burden, etc. There they understood the secret to the power He walked in. Jesus said that 'without Me you can do nothing.' This is true today. If we are great WITH Him, we will be great FOR Him.