As Ones Who Continues Jesus’ Mission
Luke 10:1-20 tells the story of Jesus equipping seventy-two followers to go ahead of him and minister in his name. Interestingly, the first instruction in his commissioning speech is for this team to pray for more laborers. They haven’t even started their journey, and Jesus is already telling them to pray for more workers to join the effort. He passes his ministry baton to the seventy, telling them to petition God for others to whom they can pass it.
We tend to think we don’t need to start considering someone to take over our ministry until we are tired of it, our life situation changes, or we just get too old. Passing on our ministry role to others may make us feel like we are giving something up. In reality, we live in a world of infinite need and, therefore, infinite ministry potential. Equipping someone else to do our role doesn’t limit our opportunities. Rather, it opens new doors for us to take on other challenges through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The seventy-two returned amazed at the power they had in Jesus’ name. He tells them to rejoice, not because of their accomplishments or abilities, but because their “names are written in heaven.” In other words, their value comes not from what they can do for Jesus, but from the fact that they belong to Jesus. When we find our security from our identity in Christ rather than what we do for Christ, we feel free to pass our own ministry baton.
Continuing Jesus’ mission requires us to move from managing to mentoring, from controlling to commissioning, from maintaining to multiplying. Members gathered in a fruitful community carry forward the mission of Jesus by empowering others along the way.
Query for Reflection
Am I secure enough in my identity in Christ to pass my ministry baton?
Identify someone in your circle of influence who could perform a ministry role you now have and set up a time to meet with them to discuss what is involved in that role.
God, thank you for meeting my need for security. Please provide me with passion and opportunity to empower those around me.