What if we each had twelve people we regularly poured ourselves into?
That is a question I have been chewing on for a little while.
Jesus had his twelve disciples and as He ascended into heaven He left them with the command to go and make disciples. Did He mean for each of them to go and make twelve disciples who they could pour into as Christ had poured into them?
I don't know that He meant we had to have twelve like He did or that we couldn't have a few more or a couple less, but I wonder if we actually took this thought to heart if things wouldn't be a bit different.
So often we either get in this mode of thinking we have to change the world so we strive to do something big, or on the other hand we see the world as so big "we can't possibly make a difference," so we don't even try. What if all it took was investing in the lives of twelve people.
Typically when I think of a disciple I think of someone who is following a leader who is teaching them. While I don't believe everyone is a natural leader or should be leading, I think God created us so that we could be in spite of our flaws and inhibitions. Take Moses for example. He didn't think he would be a good leader and he sure made his share of mistakes but God still used him.
I think throughout life we have the opportunity to make a difference in peoples lives. Some people we make small differences while other we have a chance to make a large difference. What I am talking about is actually looking for people who we are willing to invest our lives in. You spend time with them, get to know them, challenge them, develop deep relationships with them. Then you teach them to look for twelve that they can invest in, spend time with, challenge, and develop deem relationships with. Before long, you are reaching a lot more people that you ever thought you could. Peoples lives will be changed because they know someone is actually willing to invest in them.
In somewhat goes back into what I was talking about yesterday and how so many are searching for relationship and someone to care about them. What if we actually tried to live a lifestyle that nurtured that desire and attempted to make a difference.
I don't know that we have to find them all at one time or that from time to time the twelve don't change. I just think we need to be intentional about investing in people more than just doing a little thing here and there for them and never really doing life with them. It also doesn't give us the right to ignore others in need, rather it gives us people we can pull along side us to help make the difference.
I guess to a certain extent it goes back to a small group type situation, but I think it is more than that. I think it may even may go deeper than that.
I believe Christ set a perfect example of how to make an impact. While it is hard to imagine, He left telling us that WE would do even greater things than He did. What if that is because He knew what He started would multiply. Could it be that He wanted us to actually develop disciples like He said? Could it be that through these disciples we really could do greater things than He did because there would be more being like Him? Have we put our lives in the way of doing these greater things?
Pray also for me,
that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly
make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV