Let’s stick with the candy theme. Skittles or M&M’s?
This weekend we heard about movements God has produced throughout history by mobilizing a few ordinary people at a time. This formula of using “the few” to make a big impact worked in Biblical times and still works today. We learned that not only has God inspired a passion in each of us to accomplish His purposes, He has also placed each of us in community with a few people that he is encouraging us to include in our impact dreams.
Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 10:1-23; John 14:12-14; Acts 2:40-41 & 47
What does ‘God working in the ordinary’ mean? Why do we often not see God working in the ordinary?
Read John 14:12-14. How are we meant to do even greater things than Jesus did? What proof do you have that this is even possible?
Let’s turn to Luke 10:1-3. Here we read that Jesus is instructing his followers and says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” What does this mean from a kingdom perspective? In this week’s sermon we heard that the workers are few because we keep waiting for the prepared people to do the work; we keep waiting for people who are completely ready to go. Is there an impact, cause, or desire on your heart that you are waiting to get involved in until you are more prepared, have more information, or are more skilled? What are you telling yourself you need to wait for before you go and do?
Who are your people – your “few” that God has placed in your life to “one another” with you? People who build you up, lighten the load for you, and are there in the good times and bad? People you are also “there” for? Are all of them believers, or church-goers; do you all attend the same church? Are any unbelievers or seekers that might benefit from getting to know Jesus better through their interactions with you?
What might God be able to do with your few? What if not including your few in your impact vision is blocking them from getting to know Christ’s heart through service? How will you reconcile being a disciple-maker with not including your few in the change-making impact God has placed on your heart? What if your few weren’t just meant for the few of you? What if the circles God has placed you in are meant to start something that would change the world?
What do you need to “get over” in order to invite your few into the impact that God has placed on your heart? Spend some time in prayer about this.
Don’t wait for the perfect group of Christians; when it comes to finding your few, who have you not considered yet?
Send Out Question
Jesus did friendship much differently than we do today. We tend to seek out like-minded individuals that we share much in common with. We tend to cultivate friendships with people who share our same ideals, enjoy the same hobbies, and who we can understand easily because we’re actually incredibly similar. If we used our way of seeking friendships, we would have expected Jesus to find friends among the Jewish scholars, the teachers and the ones who already had a relationship with God the Father. Instead, Jesus took a much different approach!
“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” Matthew 10:2-4
We see that Jesus actually approached and included men who were definitely not worthy of Jesus’ calling. Few, if any, were of noble background, and none of them had religious clout. At least four of the disciples were fishermen. Simon was a Zealot, part of a political group that sought to overthrow the Roman government. Matthew worked for the Roman government as a tax collector and would have been viewed essentially as a traitor to the Israelites. Judas Iscariot eventually betrayed Jesus.
But it was through Jesus’s relationship with these twelve “ordinary men” that they were transformed and eventually changed the course of the world.
Jesus took men that would have been on the fringe and overlooked and called them closer to Him. To walk with him, do life with him, and witness how he navigated many different situations. In doing so, God also shows us that we, too, can change the world when we allow ourselves to step closer into the influence of Jesus.
In his book Making Friends, Making Disciples, author Lee B. Spitzer provides us with an interesting visual for placing people in our friendship circles. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil – we’re going to start by drawing a “bull’s eye” target in the middle.
The center of the target (or the bull’s eye) is reserved for your Best Friends. These are the 2 or 3 dearest loved ones God has placed in your life. Write their names here.
Now, draw a ring around the bull’s eye. Write the names of your 3-5 Special Friends.
Social Friends will be named in the next outer ring. These are the 7–12 people you spend a great deal of time with socially.
The next ring is where your Casual Friends are located. These are the 50–200 people you know by name, might socialize or work with, or are acquainted with.
(Outside the Circles: Non-friends and enemies. But we’re not focusing on that today.)
Now that you can visually see your Circle of Friends, take time this week to intentionally pray for your Best Friends and Special Friends. Pray that their hearts will be awakened to wanting to join you on your Impact journey. Pray that you, too, will be filled with courage to say yes to the impact purpose God has placed on your heart.