I’ll be off to class early tomorrow morning, so I’m posting this one tonight. And if I don’t get something off early, Kerry Doyal writes me and tells me I’m sleeping in or something.
In this third post on Jesus’ view of “missional” as can be seen in Matthew 9:35-11:1 (the so-called “mission”ary discourse), we will focus on Matthew 10:1-4. The crucial part of the text reads: “Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.”
When it comes to seeing what this text says about being missional, there is little doubt: the power of the missional work is from God.
Here again, sometimes we get so clever that we think it comes from our skill; sometimes we get so logical we think it comes from our minds; sometimes we get so persuasive we think we can control others; sometimes our facilities are so impressive we think Kingdom work is to dazzle the crowds.
But not so with Jesus: the disciples were given authority over unclean spirits, and they were given authority to heal diseases and sicknesses.
The issue is one of empowerment instead of just skills. I am all for learning more about our calling, and going off to seminary to learn what we need to learn to be ministers, and attending church courses to develop a ministry — don’t get me wrong. But, the gold of ministry is not to be found in the glitter but in the embrace of God’s empowering Spirit.
Remember also that this empowerment by Jesus is the result of his own prayer request to the Father to send forth workers into the harvest. Jesus lays it before God, petitions God for help, and then is prompted by God to empower twelve young apostles who would be given the task of extending the ministry of Jesus to others.
So, if you are serious about developing an emerging local gathering, pray to God for enablement — and wait for God to fill you with the Spirit.