Jesus was very intentional about allowing His disciples to minister alongside of Him and be included in the work. He understood that if He was going to entrust them with the ministry at a later time, He had to give them opportunities to “learn on the job.” When we are discipling people towards being able to reproduce themselves, we must get good at moving them from watching us do ministry to helping us do ministry. We must get good at delegating responsibility and entrusting people with something to do.
Read Mark 1:21-22
Jesus included His disciples on ministry trips.
Read Mark 6:30-43
Jesus allows the disciples to help Him minister to the crowds.
Jesus included an element of learning by doing in His discipleship training of the 12.
Discuss: If you are a disciple maker / ministry leader, describe how you learned to do what you do?
Peter spent 3 years traveling with Jesus who did deed ministry like healing people (Mark 6:53-56; Mark 5:35-43). Jesus also gave Peter and the apostles authority to practice some of these miracles. (Matthew 10:1) So Peter and the apostles were trained to see and practice one of the things they would later do in the early stages of their ministry after Jesus’ ascension. (Acts 9:32-43)
The disciples traveled with Jesus and heard Him preach the gospel. (Mark 1:21-22) Jesus also gave them authority to preach the gospel while He was with them, which they would come back and report their experiences. (Luke 9:1-6) We see that preaching became a staple part of the apostle’s ministry with the early church. (Acts 5:42)
The most effective way to learn ministry is getting opportunities to minister.
Discuss: What other things do you think the disciples learned from Jesus giving them tasks to help Him?
Every disciple of Jesus is to learn to use their gifts to minister to the body of Christ. (1 Pet. 4:10) If we never allow them to help us in the work of the ministry, we could be in danger of keeping them from discovering how God has gifted them to minister to others.
In Acts 6:1-7, The apostles had a ministry opportunity arise. They delegated responsibility to faithful men who could use their gifts to accomplish the work. This delegation seems to reflect principles they learned while helping Jesus do ministry, “feeding the 5,000 “(Mark 6:30-43)
Discuss: What could be negative consequences of the apostles just handling the problem on their own?
It is helpful to begin giving people small tasks, possibly even things that are behind the scenes. As they grow in their competency, character, and cohesion with others you can entrust more significant and visible responsibility.
It may be helpful to first include someone in service ministry before entrusting them with word ministry. Also it may be helpful to give them small tasks in facilitating word ministry before entrusting them to lead a teaching ministry.
- If you serve in a ministry, bring someone from your D-Group to help you and give them responsibility of passing out materials or collecting data.
- Volunteer to take a larger role of serving in your community group, entrust some of that responsibility to someone in your d-group.
- Invite people from your d-group into your preparation time as you study for formal d-group meetings. Ask them for input and feedback on the meeting. Allow them to facilitate one of the sections of the d-group. (look back, look in, look ahead)
- Think through a time when your group could do life-on-life activity, but entrust someone in your group with the responsibility of planning it.
- Coordinate a community outreach/evangelism project and entrust mapping or collecting contact information to someone in your d-group. As you go, give them opportunities to speak, ask questions, and share with those you are visiting.
Discuss: What are some perspective changes necessary to move people from watching to helping?
What are some good indicators that someone has a gift to do something?
What could you allow someone in your d-group to help you do?
Ask God to give people a desire to want to use their gifts to edify others, ask Him for direction on how you could include someone to help you in ministry.