Four Levels of Relationship in Jesus’ Ministry & Yours

jim

by Jim Egli, www.jimegli.com

A close look at Jesus’ ministry as related in the Gospels shows four levels of relationships. Understanding these levels is pivotal to having the same impact that he had.

The four levels can be illustrated by concentric circles. In the widest circle, Jesus’ ministered to the crowds—preaching, teaching, healing, casting out demons, contending with opponents, etc. In the center of his ministry was his training of the twelve disciples who he chose “that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” (Mark 3:14-15).

Within the twelve he invested in three closer disciples—Peter, James, and John—who we see alone with Jesus at many of the most pivotal points in his ministry (Mark 5:37; 9:2; 13:3; 14:33).

Between the 12 and the crowds, there was a broader circle of disciples who come into focus in places like Jesus sending out of the 72 in Luke 10:1 and the 120 gathered in the upper room in Acts 1.

Sociologically, you could call these four levels: public, social, private, and intimate. In John Wesley’s highly effective ministry these levels were: open air preaching, societies, class meetings (heterogeneous home groups), and bands (gender-specific accountability groups of four or five).

In your church our ministry, we could call these levels: crowd, congregation, small group, and mini-group.

I wish I had understood these four levels when I started in leadership ministry 35 years ago. I basically just focused on the crowd and the small group. What I didn’t realize was the evangelistic and equipping potential of the mid-sized congregation and the tremendous leadership multiplication power of the smallest group. In the posts that I contribute this month, I want to focus on the smallest of these groups—mini-groups or what is perhaps best called discipleship groups.

These groups are the leadership engines of our churches because, done right, they offer the deepest levels of transparency, challenge, personal transformation, and leadership mobilization.

Why did Jesus invest so much of his life in his 12 disciples? And within that group, why did he repeatedly invest in a deeper way in an inner core? Because he knew that the future success of his world mission rested not on the masses but on strong leaders who had captured his heart, his message, and his authority. And establishing that base required focusing his time, his prayers, and his attention on emerging leaders rather that merely growing a crowd.

Jesus tells us to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) and promised that he would build his church (Matthew 16:18). When I started in ministry 35 years ago, I thought it was my job to build the church and I really didn’t give much thought or effort to discipleship.

My mindset and priorities are much different now. I’ve come to realize that as I do my part, making disciples of Jesus who make other disciples, Jesus will gladly do his part and build his church.

Korean blog (click here)

Portuguese blog:

Os Quatro Nves de Relaciomento no Ministério de Jesue e no Seu

por Jim Egli, www.smallgroupsbigimpact.wordpress.com

Um olhar mais atento no ministério de Jesus como relatado nos Evangelhos mostram quatro nveis de relacionamento. Entender esses nveis é essencial para ter o mesmo impacto que ele teve.

Os quatro nveis podem ser ilustrados através de crculos concêntricos. No crculo mais amplo, Jesus ministrou para as multidões – pregando, ensinando, curando, expulsando demônios, lutando contra adversários, etc. No centro do seu ministério estava o treinamento dos doze discpulos que ele escolheu “para que estivesse com ele e que fossem enviados para pregar e tivessem autoridade para expulsar demônios (Marcos 3:14-15).

Dentre os doze ele investiu em três dos seus discpulos mais próximos – Pedro, Tiago e João – que vemos sozinho com Jesus em muitos dos momentos mais essenciais em seu ministério (Marcos 5:37, 9:2, 13:3, 14:33).

Entre os 12 e a multidão, existia um amplo crculo de discpulos que estavam focados em lugares tais quais os 72 que foram enviados em Lucas 10:1 e as 120 reuniões nos quartos superiores em Atos 1.

Sociologicamente você pode nomear esses quarto nveis de público, social, particular e ntimo. No ministério mais efetivo de John Wesley esses nveis eram pregação ao ar livre, sociedades, reuniões em classes (grupos caseiros heterogênios) e bandos (grupos de gênero especfico de quatro ou cinco pessoas).

Na sua igreja ou ministério, podemos chamar esses nveis de multidão, congregação, grupo pequeno e mini grupo.

Eu gostaria de ter entendido esses quarto nveis quando eu iniciei a liderança do ministério há 35 anos. Eu basicamente apenas foquei na multidão e no grupo pequeno. O que eu não percebi foi que o potencial evangelstico e equipagem da congregação mediana e o poder da tremenda multiplicação da liderança nos grupos pequenos. Nestas postagens que colaborarei este mês, quero focar no menor desses grupos – mini grupos ou o que talvez seja melhor chamado de grupos de discipulado.

Esses grupos são o motor da liderança da nossa igreja porque, se feito corretamente, eles oferecen o mais profundo nvel de transparência, desafio, transformação pessoal e mobilização da liderança.

Porque Jesus investiu tanto da sua vida em seus 12 discpulos? E dentro daquele grupo, porque ele repeditamente investiu mais profundamente em um núcleo interno? Porque ele sabia que o futuro sucesso da sua missão mundial repousava não nas massas mas nos lderes mais fortes que capturaram seu coração, sua mensagem e sua autoridade. E por estabelecer esta base requerida por focar no seu tempo, nas suas orações, na sua atenção nos lderes emergentes ao invés de simplesmente aumentar a multidão.

Jesus nos diz para “fazermos discpulos” (Mateus 28:19) e prometeu que ele construiria sua igreja Mateus (16:18). Quando eu iniciei no ministério 35 anos atrás, pensei que era meu trabalho construir a igreja e eu na verdade não me atentei muito ou me esforcei pelo discipulado.

Meu prensamento e prioridades são muito diferentes agora. Tenho percebido que enquanto faço minha parte, fazendo discpulos de Jesus que fazem outros discpulos, Jesus fará a sua parte com prazer e construirá sua igreja.

Comentários?

Jim

Spanish blog:

Los cuatro niveles de relación en el ministerio de Jesús y tuyo

Por Jim Egli, www.smallgroupsbigimpact.wordpress.com

Una mirada de cerca al ministerio de Jesús como es relatado en los Evangelios muestra cuatro niveles de las relaciones. Entender estos niveles es fundamental para tener el mismo impacto que tuvo.

Los cuatro niveles se pueden ilustrar por los crculos concéntricos. En el crculo más amplio Jesús ministró a la multitud – predicó, enseño, sanó, expulso demonios, contendió con los opositores, etc. En el centro de su ministerio estuvo su entrenamiento de los doce discpulos que él eligió “para que estuvieran con él, para enviarlos a predicar y ejercer autoridad para expulsar demonios.”(Marcos 3:14-15).

Dentro de los doce Él invirtió en tres discpulos cercanos- Pedro, Jacobo y Juan – que vemos a solas con Jesús en muchos de los puntos más cruciales en su ministerio (Marcos 05:37; 09:02; 13:03; 14:33).

Entre las 12 y la multitud, haba un crculo más amplio de discpulos que entran en el enfoque en lugares como Lucas 10:01 Jesús envo los 72 en y los 120 se reunieron en el aposento alto en Hechos 1.

Sociológicamente, se puede llamar a estos cuatro niveles: público, social, privado e ntimo. En el ministerio eficaz de John Wesley estos niveles fueron: la predicación al aire libre, las sociedades, reuniones de clase (grupos heterogéneos de origen), y bandas (grupos de rendición de cuentas en función del género de cuatro o cinco).

En tu iglesia nuestro este ministerio lo podramos llamar a estos niveles: multitud, congregación, grupo pequeño, y mini – grupo.

Me hubiera gustado haber entendido estos cuatro niveles cuando comencé en el ministerio de liderazgo hace 35 años. Yo, básicamente, me concentre en la multitud y los pequeños grupos. De lo que no me di cuenta fue la evangelización y el equipamiento, el potencial de tamaño medio de la congregación y el tremendo poder de multiplicación y liderazgo del grupo celular. En los mensajes que aporto este mes, me quiero concentrar en el más pequeño de estos grupos- mini- grupos o lo que es mejor llamado grupos de discipulado.

Estos grupos son los motores de liderazgo de nuestras iglesias, y bien hecho, ofrecen los niveles más profundos de transparencia, desafo, la transformación personal, y movilización de liderazgo.

¿Por qué Jesús invirtió gran parte de su vida en sus 12 discpulos? Y dentro de su grupo, ¿Por qué invirtió en varias ocasiones de manera más profunda en el núcleo interno? Porque saba que el futuro éxito de su misión en el mundo no descansaba en las masas, sino en los fuertes  lderes que haban capturado su corazón, su mensaje y su autoridad. Y el establecimiento de esa base requera enfoque, tiempo, oraciones y su atención e los lderes emergentes en lugar de simplemente el cultivo de la multitud. 

Jesús nos dice que debemos “hacer discpulos” (Mateo 28:19), y prometió que iba a edificar su iglesia (Mateo 16:18). Cuando comencé en el ministerio hace 35 años, pensé que era mi trabajo construir una iglesia y realmente no dar mucho esfuerzo o pensamiento al discipulado.

Mi forma de pensar y prioridades son muy diferentes ahora. Me he dado cuenta que mientras hago mi parte, haciendo discpulos de Jesús que hacen otros discpulos, Jesús con mucho gusto hará su parte y construirá la iglesia.

¿Comentarios?

Jim

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