John 17:9 I do not pray for the world but for those you have given me.
I don’t know how many times I’ve read that verse but this morning it stopped me cold. Jesus prayed not for the world but for those the Father had given Him.
The more I study the more I am convinced Jesus came at a time in history without mass media and huge venues to show us how we were to evangelize the world. I am not against mass media or huge venues but I am against them taking the place of making disciples the way Jesus did. Jesus walked with His disciples, those entrusted to Him, and made them His primary purpose not a means to an end.
So many times we use those entrusted to us to meet needs rather than, like Jesus, using the need to equip the saints. Jesus had compassion on the crowds but spent the bulk of His time making sure those entrusted to Him were equipped and released into the fullness of their calling.
Ephesians 4:16 says “the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
When church leaders begin to recognize, call out, equip, and release every gift into the body the church will grow.