Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Are You Wasting Time With the Masses?

Often times as ministry leaders we tend to only focus on the masses; while this is not always a bad practice, if this is all that we ever do then it is likely that we are not reproducing ourselves by truly making disciples or the disciples we are making are likely shallow in their spiritual depth. If we look at the life of Jesus we see that he did spend time with the masses such as in Mark 6:33-44, but he was never content only being with the large crowds. Jesus knew that often times people would come only to see what they could get such as a free lunch. Rather what we see Jesus doing is using the large crowds as a teaching opportunity where he would filter to find the faithful ones.

By using the large crowds as a way to filter, Jesus was able to find a smaller group of disciples that were obedient to follow Him. This small group was eventually the group that would go on to change the entire world in whose footsteps we still follow.

In the same way as leaders in ministry we should not ignore the large crowds, but we should also not spend all of our time with them, but rather constantly have a smaller group of individuals that we are discipling and equipping to go on and hopefully do better things than we ourselves have. A typical group would be 6-12 people that you spend six months to a year with before forming a new group. In this way you are following more of a Timothy 2:2 model and equipping the faithful ones to train and equip others to train and equip others. You may even call these Timothy groups as a way to keep in mind the purpose and goal.

Once again, do not ignore the large crowds, as Jesus himself spent time with the large crowds, but he did eventually filter down to a group of 12 faithful men. In the words of Wilson Geisler, "There is no other way to leave a lasting impact other than to multiply yourself into those around you, and the only way that happens is to spend relational time equipping and then leaving a small group of the faithful ones to continue to work and multiply themselves further."


  1. Matthew, this is a great article. In Venezuela right now and this is precisely what our missionary does down here. Just last night we spent time with her discipleship group.

  2. That is encouraging to hear as I fully agree with the quote at the bottom of the post that in order to leave a lasting impact it will happen through multiplying yourself into others. On a side note, how would you feel about leading a WABC team to S. Asia in the next six months?