An Amazing Thing Happened on the Way to Jerusalem
An amazing thing happened on the way to Jerusalem.
The first half of our gospel accounts depict Jesus ministering in and around Galilee. He calls disciples, tells parables, and performs healings on behalf of fascinated crowds. But about halfway through the gospel accounts, Jesus sets his sight on Jerusalem. Luke makes this transition abundantly clear:
...he was heading for Jerusalem (9.53)
Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. (13.22)
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. (17.11)
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem…” (18.31)
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. (19.28)
But an amazing thing happens along the way. We often think of Jesus and his twelve disciples. If we really have our thinking caps on, we’ll recall that there were also a number of women who “helped support the disciples out of their own means” (Luke 8.3). But did you know there were a lot more people than that who were involved in Jesus’ movement? And I don’t just mean the crowds.
In Luke 9.1-2, Jesus "called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
Then, just a chapter later, we read, “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
That’s some pretty incredible math! What starts with twelve soon includes seventy-two others who are preparing the way, as Jesus approaches Jerusalem! This is, I’m convinced, Jesus’ leadership pipeline! You see, Jesus invites disciples not to merely sit at his feet, but to become apostles who go out into the world as leaders.
Last week in this space you read about our 2030 Vision, which paints a picture, stir our hearts, solves a problem, and is God-sized. Creating a leadership pipeline is one of four emphases our staff is engaging this year to realize that vision. Because, we too, are not only called to sit in the pews each Sunday morning, but to engage the mission of God.
And so we’re asking the question, “What happened in between Luke 9.1 and Luke 10.1?” What were those conversations Jesus had with his original twelve disciples that prompted them to multiply by 6 times!? And what are the conversations and trainings and opportunities we need to host to create leaders who will invite all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God’s family?
I recently read a book called Designed to Lead and was deeply convicted on just page 9. The authors write,
Sadly many churches are outpaced in developing leaders for the mission of God. In many churches, leaders are not being developed as fully and intentionally as they could be… Your church should be, must be, a leadership locus.
An amazing thing happened on the way to Jerusalem. Could an amazing thing happen here in Los Alamitos, too?