Staff Thought of the Week: Give Them Specific Tasks

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(Matthew 10:5-15 ESV)

[5] These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, [6] but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ [8] Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. [9] Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, [10] no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. [11] And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. [12] As you enter the house, greet it. [13] And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. [14] And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. [15] Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Jesus included his disciples in his ministry not long after he called them. Part of their training involved doing very specific tasks Jesus gave them. At this point, he didn’t give them a choice about what kind of ministry they wanted to do– they weren’t ready. He gave them very clear and delineated instructions and sent them out.

We do believe that being the right person comes before doing the right things. But Jesus knew that specific direction accompanied with input and correction brilliantly wedded the thinking and doing parts of being a Christ-follower. This is an important way to shepherd and disciple. This is how an M3 mobilizes.

Give your group a specific task. Here are some ideas:

  • Go visit some elderly shut-ins and give them each specific Scriptures to read. Assign certain students to pray.
  • Go over to Regal and strike up some conversations about the gospel. Tell your students to be bold, kind, respectful. Make sure they’re praying. And then grab lunch afterwards.
  • Choose one Sunday morning to serve as a team of greeters. Gather at the church early, pray together for the sermon, the congregation, and visitors, and as people start coming head out to the lobby and shake hands.
  • Bring a few students to your shepherding group and ask them to simply observe. Spend a few minutes afterward and get their thoughts.

Got any ideas of your own?