Jesus ministered to many, but he focused on a few. Paul. Timothy, and Silas ministered to many but they, too, focused on a few. Why did Jesus and his disciples narrow their attention to small groups of people? Why this strategy?
They understood the secret of living forward — spiritual multiplication through intentionally influencing a few people at a time. They knew that by concentrating on a few faithful men and women they would leave behind them a legacy of people whose influence would extend beyond a generation or two: in fact, a legacy that would continue to multiply until the return of the Lord.“
A good example of this dynamic is found in Acts 2:38-42, a picture of Early Church life:
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gilt of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.‘ With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
What makes this passage so fascinating is what is not recorded. Think about it: What happened between verses 41 and 42? How did the apostles go about getting all those people together to create this devoted fellowship? Here were the apostles with three thousand new converts on their hands. As we know, their commission wasn’t to get converts, but to make disciples. So in the time period between verse 41 and 42, there must have been some form of discipleship training, teaching the new converts how to grow up in their faith. Jesus had been clear about the necessity of that, for his own disciples had heard him talk about discipleship many times. They knew his standards and what he expected from his followers.
Please download the handout for the entire lesson that accompanies the video.