Phone calls, Facebook, emails, texting, counseling, study, finding time for family. The old saying is true: “Round and round it goes … where it stops, nobody knows!”
The time crunch is always before us. Today, I am reminded of Luke 12:1: “Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples” (NIV, emphasis added).
At first glance, this seems pretty cold-hearted! Jesus allowed the crowd to gather and trample on one another while He hung out with His disciples. Let’s take a look at the values He communicated in His message:
- “Guard against the yeast of the Pharisees” (Luke 12:1). Hypocrisy is an age-old disease that affects many.
- Don’t be afraid of threats (see v. 4). Only fear God.
- God will take care of you (see vv. 6-7). He will take care of us regardless of what happens.
- Don’t stifle your witness to others (see v. 8). Your witness is part of your calling.
- God will give us words to say at critical times (see vv. 11-12). Stay in tune with the Holy Spirit.
- Don’t worry about not having enough (see v. 22). The Divine Supplier is here.
- Be watchful and ready for service (see v. 35). Opportunity is around every corner.
- Think right, act accordingly, and serve humbly and wisely (see vv. 35-48).
While Jesus was teaching His disciples, the crowd waited. What Jesus says to us through this is: Without raising up leadership, ministry will be minimized and ineffective. The key to broadening ministry is to broaden the base of trained leaders.
The pattern is clear: Jesus shows us through this passage that without properly directed teamwork and training, we will begin to apply Band-Aids that will continually be falling off while we are falling apart. What we should be seeing instead are wholeness and joy springing forth as needs get met.
While the waiting crowd doesn’t always understand this initially, leadership training is mandatory for effectiveness … kind of reminds us of Jethro’s conversation with Moses, doesn’t it?
By: Jim Stamp, senior pastor of Westside Church (Chesapeake West Foursquare Church) in Chesapeake, Va.