Then [Jesus] appointed twelve of [his disciples] and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, giving them authority to cast out demons.
— Mark 3:14-15 NLT
Jesus selected the twelve apostles for several clear purposes:
- They were to be his companions — they would learn by being with him.
- He sent them out to do what he had been doing — preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.
- He gave them authority and power to serve, cast out demons, and heal (Matthew 10:1).
His plan for the development of these disciples, most of whom became leaders after his death, is a good one for us to follow. If we want leaders who can make a huge difference in the world, we need to train them, task them, and trust them. Training means that we don't just give them a manual or a book, but that we help them learn by serving as apprentices to proven leaders. Tasking means that we give them a clear mission or task to perform and hold them accountable to fulfill that task. Trusting means that we actually give them the authority and power to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately, the whole body of Jesus is not turned loose to work as it could because we are afraid that some leaders won't live up to the holy task they are to perform. So let's be honest with the examples of the apostles Jesus chose. Did these twelve all live up to their holy task? How long did it take for even the best of them to get it right? How many of them failed at some point? How many of them failed completely? Get the point? Let's prayerfully call more people to serve and then follow Jesus' example.
Father, forgive us. We have limited your people because we have not called more to lead, and the few whom we have called to lead, we often limit because of our lack of faith in them and our lack of direction and accountability given to them. Dear Father, please raise up more leaders and open our eyes to their presence. In Jesus' name. Amen.