Why plant like Jesus?
Jesus intended us to follow Him… in all arenas- including church planting.
Chronological perspective based on John 3:24 and Mark 1:14–> John 1-4 comes before Mark 1:15, Matt. 4:12, or Luke 4:14.
* Matthew 4:19-” follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” This is net fishing not pole fishing- catching schools of fish.
* The disciples received a calling to…
- discipleship– a general discipleship calling- John 1:35-51
- apprenticeship- Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11- This was not everyone’s calling. Jesus made this invitation to a few who’d already begun following Him. They were being invited to join Jesus’ traveling team.
- apostleship- Luke 6:12-19- Jesus called together a large crowd of disciples, spent a night in prayer, and chose 12 as apostles.
* 3 fields Jesus was working on simultaneously. Notice “the next day… the third day… a few days… stayed there two days…” in John 1-4.
What was Jesus doing? Where was Jesus going?
- John the Baptist’s meetings for at least three days.
- Seekers who were interested were at John the Baptist’s meetings- most spiritually ripe people, most hungry for God.
- Right question: where do I find the easiest/ripest/spirit-prepared people? (from discussion)
- transitional shelters
- overwhelmed families
- disconnected Catholics
- Don’t always think I need to go after the hardest people.
- Whenever someone engages in spiritual or Jesus centric conversations, it’s a sign God is at work.
- Jesus focused his investment in those who were responsive. See John 1:38- ask questions, listen, have compassion. We need to understand the fish to catch a fish.
- Jesus invited them into His home: Andrew & John. Two predisciples and Jesus.
- Jesus spoke to crowds with believers and significant numbers of nonbelievers. The ratio matters.
- Jesus began by giving Peter a new name. With men especially Jesus called out the hero and pointed out the potential within them. Men want to be rescuers not to be rescued. See John 1:42, 47.
- Jesus discoverd a person of peace and pursue their network of relationships. See John 1:43, John 4.
The Ts of a missionary
We need to understand our target.
As you exegete the scriptures, exegete the people, and see where they intersect.
- Turf– where they hang out
- Tastes– preferences, desires
- Tunes-music tells you a lot about a culture
- Times– when they’re available
Jesus focused almost exclusively on the top and bottom of the funnel: the multitudes and the apostles.
“Jesus taught many, touched some, trained a few.”
Jesus spent a lot of time in large group teaching and training the apostolic leaders. We often spend too much time on the mushy middle. Focus on the crowd and core. We wrongly spend time and energy attempting to move those in the middle towards being apostolic. We need to create venues to proclaim the gospel with a significant number of nonbelievers. Not everyone goes through the funnel from top to bottom- everyone is not an apostle/equipper. We need to be careful not to put a yoke on people that God has not called them to carry.
Is everyone called to make disciples?
- Everyone is called to be a part of the discipling process. We are called together as a body to make disciples.
- Jesus had different discipleship strategies for different people.
- People disciple together by using their spiritual gifts together- think of the church as a net.
- Discipleship strategy for the middle of the funnel involves teaching times, living in spiritual community, and exercising spiritual gifts. Every believer should share the hope they have, serve the least… DON’T put expectations on people that aren’t clear commands BUT DO teach every believer to understand and obey everything Jesus commands (explicitly in Great Commission- Matthew 28:20).
A couple of examples of over applying good ideas:
1) Everyone should have a Paul & Timothy. 1 and 2 Timothy were pastoral letters written to an apostolic leader.
2) Read large volumes of scripture- many chapters per week. Use as a tool not as a rule. Not everyone is academic and retains large reading volumes.