Multiplication of Ministry
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Years ago, Matthew 9:35-37 made a shift in my thinking. Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
I saw that even Jesus meeting people’s needs could not produce health for the movement or multiply disciples. It is not just about meeting people’s needs. Finding a way of turning the blessed into the blessers is the challenge. We must raise up people to help us with the workload, to meet more opportunities. Oftentimes we mistake the process for the end result. Obedience is the process. The end result is multiplication of ministry, not just effort.
Just after Christmas, my daughter’s dog charged me and caught me on the side of the knee, flexing it and causing great pain. I didn’t want to just pop some pain pills, and I knew to get an appointment at the orthopedic doctor would take weeks. I decided to be bold and just walk into the office. It was January 2nd, and the office was pretty empty. I asked the receptionist if there was any way a doctor cold see me. She told me politely but firmly that, number one: “We don’t do walk-ins,” and number two: “There were no doctors there anyway.” I nicely told her that I was really in pain and asked if she could possibly sneak me in at the earliest appointment. Abruptly she said, “Well, the PA is here. Let me see if she will see you.” In a few minutes, she had me in the X-ray room. Nothing torn or ripped. A shot to reduce inflammation, and I was moving much better!
What does that have to do with making disciples? If the doctor’s job is to get folks well—and it is, he multiplied his effectiveness by having a well-trained team member who was NOT a doctor. This person used the level of skill she possessed freely. How about that receptionist? She had confidence that they were still in the healing business, even when the doctor wasn’t there.
When people in our church encounter needs, is their first response to say the doctor/pastor must be there? Or is there a culture of others available who will use their skills and training to help? Does the ministry of Jesus continue without the resident expert? The doctor’s office that day made money, they promoted healing, and the doctor never did a thing. Why? Because he embraced having trusted and trained team members. He did his work on the front end so that others could do it on the back end. That PA never apologized for not being a doctor. She did what she was trained to do.
As we prepare to make an investment in our own calling by being refreshed and resourced at our National Conference in less than two weeks, let’s not ask: How do “I” see more patients? Instead, let’s ask: How do I see more people get healthy? Of course, being healthy ourselves is important! The National Conference is designed to keep you connected to God, to your calling, and to key friends that are good and healthy for you. Can’t wait to see you soon in Orlando!
It’s not too late to register. Click HERE for more information.
In the Master’s Service,
NRP Apostolic Team Leader