Jesus’ Method of Developing People
Are you a young man or woman, needing to be developed or mentored, but no one seems to be interested? Every follower of Jesus needs a Paul or a Priscilla in their life. Each young man or woman needs an older person to take a personal interest in them and develop them into the man or woman Jesus designed them to be.
Jesus’ Message and Method are Inspired
Jesus developed twelve and from that group, focused special attention on three. So, I’m still scratching my head as to why Jesus’ church fails to follow His method of developing people. His people believe the message of Scripture is inspired, but apparently, they fail to understand that His method of developing people is also inspired.
Turn to any of the four Gospels and you’ll discover Jesus’ method, how He developed men and women. Jesus took a personal interest in an individual, called him, taught him about His identity, provided a living example of what it means to love neighbor and God, challenged him, corrected him, prayed for him, and gave him opportunities to be engaged in ministry.
Jesus met with individuals privately, one-on-one, one-on-two, one-on-three, or one-on-four. By taking an enduring personal interest in individuals, Jesus clearly saw their character flaws--their pride, entitlement, greed, anger, self-focus, and prayerlessness. But His closeup angle also enabled Jesus to spot their future potential as ambassadors of the cross.
Based upon that personal knowledge, Jesus persistently brought these matters to their attention, spurring them forward towards maturity. Without that personal attention and development, His disciples would have remained stuck in the ditch of self-gratification.
Jesus’ Method Worked
Despite His disciples repeated failures, rooted in self-centeredness or ignorance, Jesus didn’t trade them in for improved models, but remained unflinchingly loyal to them. He believed in them when they stopped believing in themselves. Slowly, steadily, over time those proud, self-absorbed individuals were favorably impacted, transformed by Jesus’ personal word into humble, effective servants. His up-close and personal method of developing people worked.
Development did not occur in a big praise gathering, geared to entertain seekers of euphoric chills and thrills. Nor did it happen at a sensationalized, Six-Flags-Over-Jesus type Christian concert, designed to solicit money and applause from fans. Mass discipleship in any setting is a fiction in Scripture but, ironically, standard practice in church. Real change and development happens over a period of time by a personal approach. Jesus’ method of developing people up-close is inspired.
“You can impress people from a distance, but you impact them up close,” is how Howard Hendricks used to put it to us at DTS. Prof Hendricks must have read the four Gospels.
Everyone Needs a Paul or a Priscilla
Every future leader—worship leader, Bible expositor, counselor, teacher, discipler, Elder (Overseer/Shepherd), or mentor needs a Jesus or a Paul or a Priscilla in his or her life. Without such a person, men and women settle for mediocrity and the wasteful pursuit of the American Dream. Up-close and personal discipleship is the method of development we practice at Grace Bible Church. Jesus, Paul, and Priscilla modeled it for us. It worked for them.
You on Your Own?
Are you a young man or woman, hungering to be developed? Do you want to lead, teach, mentor, or counsel, yet find yourself on your own, wasting away? Do you want a Paul or a Priscilla in your life who is personally interested in you and is willing to take the time to develop you? If so, come join us.