Summary: 3 keys for a successful ministry as applied by The Lord.
Fellowship, Training and Proclaiming
The Book of Mark
I. Any successful ministry will grow in time.
A. That is what we see with Jesus’ Galilean ministry.
1. Huge crowds followed Him where ever He went.
a) They came from all over Palestine as they heard about His works.
(1) As far south as Jerusalem.
(2) As far north and west as Sidon.
(3) As far east as the other side of the Jordan River.
b) Even with limited transportation in those days word spread fast.
2. Verse 9-10 give us an idea of the size and press of the crowds.
a) The word translated pressed means to press hard upon.
b) It is used when speaking of crushing grapes into wine.
c) Jesus had to have a boat standing by so that He could protect Himself from the crowd as they pushed in.
d) He would walk along the shore with the people and the disciples would row the boat a little off shore and when the press of people trying to touch Jesus became too much He could move to the boat and the disciples would row out a ways.
3. To say the least Jesus had a successful and growing ministry.
B. As a ministry grows it becomes necessary to add people to the work.
1. The time had come for Jesus to begin to multiply Himself by appointing disciples.
2. At this point Jesus has 5 disciples whom he has called.
a) Peter, James, John, Andrew were first called along this same shore.
b) Matthew was added on His sweep through Capernaum.
3. It has been several months now since the first disciples were called. Now He adds 7 more to the group to make it 12.
4. Jesus called each disciple according to His own will and they responded to Him vs.13.
a) The structure of this sentence leaves no doubt as to who is deciding to call whom.
b) The disciples didn’t come to Him wanting to follow.
c) There is an indication that there were more who were called as disciples but only 12 were called as apostles.
d) The others were the general group who followed Him through much of His ministry.
e) His choosing of these men was not done without forethought and consultation.
(2) Luke 6:12-13
5. This group of 12 minus Judas forms the nucleus of the future church.
6. Jesus is choosing the men though whom He will lay the foundation for what is still growing today.
C. In addition to this I believe that He is also laying out for us the keys to a successful ministry in the church today.
1. His purpose for calling them is stated in verse 14.
a) That they might be with Him.
b) That He might send them out to preach.
2. From this and His subsequent actions we can learn what it takes to have a successful ministry.
3. Fellowship, Training and Proclaiming.
D. What I would like to do is look at these 3 keys for a successful ministry as applied by The Lord.
A. There is no better way to get to know people than spending time with them.
1. Fellowship is a vital part of any ministry.
2. We cannot get to know one another unless we get together.
B. Though there is much to be said for a one on one ministry of discipleship I don’t think that is what is in view here.
1. There is no indication that Jesus did any “one on one” discipleship.
2. He did take small groups of disciples with Him on certain occasions but for the most part His time was spent with them as a group.
C. These men had a very close relationship with Jesus for almost 3 yrs.
1. They ate their meals together.
2. They lodged together.
3. They traveled together
4. These men were the ones who stayed with Him when things became more and more difficult.
b) Lk.22:28.“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.
5. This same relationship to other believers carried over into the practice of the infant church.
a) Acts 1;13-14
b) Acts 2:24,46
c) Acts 4:23
d) It continued to be an important teaching of the church as is seen in the letters
e) There are numerous accounts in the writings of the church fathers that also testify to this.
6. The practice of fellowship began to wane after the initial excitement of the new Church passed.
a) I believe that is one reason that there have been so many divisions in the church over the years.
b) It has gotten to the point today that fellowship is looked upon as being optional.
(1) We can take it or leave it.