I was feeling proud of myself. The bathroom remodel was going great! After hours of demo, careful measuring, and high hopes, the new drywall was hung. As I prepared to hang the tile, I noticed something was off . . . the walls weren’t level. I had a choice to make. Ignore the problem and compromise the success of the entire project or start all over. It was a tough decision! As I began the second round of demo, I was again reminded that how you build is important!
As I prepared to hang the drywall again, I was determined not to make the same mistake. After some searching, I found a tool that would help me lay this foundation the right way. What I found was a laser level, perhaps the most helpful tool I’ve ever had. The purpose of the tool is to help keep the horizontal and vertical in proper alignment. I wish I had this level when I started the project. Now, the drywall is straight, the tile looks great, and it’s watertight!
Jesus had a similar situation. He determined that the long-term effectiveness of the Kingdom needed some adjustment. In Mark 3:7-12, we see a huge crowd following Jesus. So many that He had to have boats ready because of people pushing towards Him. He healed. He cast out demons. If we could have seen that day we would have been astounded at the beauty of His ministry.
Yet, Jesus knew not all was being built right. He knew a course correction was badly needed. He had a vision for what ministry and the Kingdom should look like. He had an internal laser level guiding how He would operate. He also knew there were core issues that needed to be solved or the Kingdom would not be strong and healthy long term. How He built into people’s lives was important.
Immediately after Jesus’ grand day of healing the crowds He turned quickly to make sure His ministry was being wisely built. Verses 13 through 19 are His course correction. He called the Apostles to Himself with a three-part purpose: that they would be with Him, that they would be sent out to preach, and that they would cast out demons. These two passages are back-to-back yet so different. Jesus knew for the Kingdom to be strong, crowds were not enough. He needed to build so His critical work would be continued for years, decades, even centuries. Building these equipping relationships with a few was Jesus’ plan to reach the world. Making disciples was absolutely needed at this juncture.
The challenge for us in the church is that it is so alluring to enjoy the crowd and feed the systems that build the crowd. We get the applause for large gatherings from our congregation, our peers, and even our own hearts. We are also challenged because we forget how we are to build and prefer to quickly get the tasks done. We often find resistance from those we serve because it is safer to stay the same than be transformed.
There are so many factors involved in how we build what Jesus wants for our churches. One tool we’ve developed is an eBook on starting with a strong foundation. It is called “The Foundation of a Disciple Making Culture.” I found the smart steps helpful to start the culture building process in a congregation. Click on the link HERE to download a copy.
Another resource is our webinar “How to Make Disciple Making the Core Mission of the Church” on December 3 at 11 a.m. EST. Navigators Church Ministries & Discipleship.org are collaborating on the webinar. Join us to think and consider what the dynamics are that keep disciplemaking at the core of the church’s ministry. Sign up to access this webinar HERE.