Do you own things that are tailor-made just for you? Not many people use a tailor these days. Some folks have custom designed golf clubs. Other sports enthusiasts may have a custom-made bat, racquet, or goggles. I’ve even heard of made-to-order cars. Never had one, but I’ve heard stories! Things just seem to work better if they are designed just for you. Is your ministry cumbersome or custom-made?
Jesus defined the mission of the 70 (Luke 10) as preparing the way for His arrival, ministering in community with others, praying for the harvest, personal involvement in the harvest, and being sent as Jesus was sent (lambs among wolves; humility). Insight about that is HERE.
How Jesus designed the ministry is also insightful. He told them not to carry a money belt, or bag, or shoes, and not to greet anyone on the way. Does it seem odd to preclude necessary items? Jesus’ mission design would meet the needs these things represent. His prohibition against them protected the 70. They didn’t need to be concerned with money. His command and design would provide for them. Stuff in a bag is something else to keep up with & think about. ‘Extra shoes’ focuses on self and comfort. Jesus told the 70 to Go!, pray, and be humble. They weren’t begging to volunteer for duty. The commands wouldn’t have been necessary if they had already been doing those things. Jesus’ disciples were (and are) easily distracted. Their need (and ours) was to focus on their Source. He is Who, not what, His missionaries need. He is the greatest need of the ones to whom He sends us! Figured it out? The mission is all about Him!
What about the greeting? My best analogy is a grocery run in the small, county-seat town where we live. We served a church here for almost 5 years. The church still does radio/TV broadasts of its services. And I now speak/preach in many churches. My wife sometimes sends me to Wal-Mart for a ‘quick’ pick-up. That’s only possible if I don’t talk to the people in the store that I know, the ones who know me, and the ones that think I know them because they saw me on TV. Laborers in His harvest must prioritize their time. How are you doing with focus and priority?
Tomorrow: Funding the mission – Is it charity?
Soli Deo Gloria!