You have probably seen the question – would you rather have $1 million or double a penny every day for 30 days and get paid the result? Doubling the penny results in over $5 million!
Jesus was a penny doubler.
He made just a few disciples but they knew how to do for others what Jesus had done for them. Jesus only discipled a handful of people but he did it in a way that, within a generation, the world had been turned upside down!
What makes this even more impressive is that to travel anywhere took an inordinate amount of time, there were no phones or radio signals, much less the internet. There were no shortcuts, advertising budgets, or websites.
Disseminating information took a long period of time and it took face to face interaction in most instances. The four gospels weren’t even written down for a least a decade or two after Jesus died. The story was passed on from person to person.
This is the genius of Jesus approach!
When God sent the greatest message ever communicated (the gospel of the kingdom) He did so through a person – Jesus the Christ. The way Jesus choose to continue passing that information was from people to people, following His example. They did it person-to-person and life-on-life just like Jesus did.
Jesus had 12 main disciples and several more disciples outside the 12. By Acts 1 he only had 120 gathered! One chapter later there were over 3000! And the growth accelerated from there. And this wasn’t shallow growth. Many of these people gave their life for Jesus.
Here is the genius of Jesus’ approach
Jesus used everyday people to spread the message. He picked tax collectors and fishermen to do the work. If they can do it, anyone can do it. Anyone can do it because Jesus baked into the system that the power is not from the people or their position in life but from the Holy Spirit! And we as Christians all have the same Spirit in us.
Have we taken shortcuts where there are no shortcuts?
Are we doing the same? Or are we relying on technology to do the work that people should be doing? Do we rely on advertising and ads to do the work that people should be doing? I often wonder if we haven’t traded out fundamental components of the mission for more convenient and more palatable/comfortable options.
The problem is that “palatable” quickly turns into “palliative.”
When you get used to a diet of comfort you are setting yourself up for death. We have to stop using quick solutions, fancy programs, and the latest in SEO to do the work that God designed to be done by flesh and blood.
We have to get back to embracing the approaches of Jesus. We have to get back to relying on the Holy Spirit, just as they did. When we do this, I am convinced that we would see some big changes in our churches. But if we refuse to get uncomfortable – refuse to get in the trenches – we won’t be around much longer.