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Summary: There is often a misconception of the first disciples. Many are lead to believe they didn’t have anything to loose by following Jesus. Quite the opposite is true. These were successful businessmen,likely well educated and of fairly prominent social posi

If you ever have, or every thought of opening your own business, you know there must be a plan. And you probably discovered what most entrepreneurs know … starting a business requires some help… and almost always, its from their friends. (SLIDE)

How many remember when the Beatles sang “With a Little Help From My Friends” back in the 1960s? They probably didn’t realize it, but, they were expressing a concept that applies not only to social relationships but to business ventures, too.

Now I realize there are at least some of you here this morning that may remember the first part of that song… and it’s theme: “The song’s about getting stoned, as in ‘I get high with a little help from my friends.’”

That’s not the kind of help we’re talking about. (MOVE)

Rich Mintzer of Entrepreneur magazine says there are “four people every business owner needs.”

These are “four types of supporters who serve as emotional backers and/or advisers. According to Mintzer, the four types are:

• The Cheerleader: Cheerleaders are those who will rally behind an idea and provide encouragement, especially during the initial headaches of a business start-up… “Clearly, you need to have positive-thinking people around you at all times,” says business coach Marian Banker. “You’ll notice the word courage is in there, which is also something very important a cheerleader helps you develop.”

• The Role Model: This is the “follow me and do as I do” person. Watch this person, take mentoring from him or her, and you begin to see important principles at work. A role model could be a teacher or mentor. It could also be someone close to you, including family. Family members with a good work ethic or wise business insight can be worth their weight in gold in a growing business.

• The Expert: It’s always good to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you about certain areas. Experts provide the missing pieces for the new business owner who may be gifted in one part of the business but need help and advice in another. Experts fill in the gaps by asking questions that begin with, “Have you given any thought to …”

• The Techie: In today’s world, these are folks who are wizards with things: computers, communication systems, manufacturing, infrastructure and the like. Someone with the ability to provide efficient and timely technical support and advice can be a godsend in today’s business world. (MOVE)

While there may be other types of supporters needed in a start-up venture, the point is that it takes a team (SLIDE) to really be successful. (MOVE)

In this week’s gospel lesson, we see that Jesus is beginning a sort of entrepreneurial venture. But Jesus is not starting a “business,” and he’s not just some entrepreneur trying to make a buck. Jesus isn’t going to be your CEO to help you get rich. He’s doing something a bit more ambitious, like PROCLAIMING THE ARRIVAL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD (1:15).

In this scripture we see Jesus gather about Him… friends. He knew He need friends to accomplish His mission. And if Jesus — Son of the living God, God of God — believed this to be true, we’d better believe it, too. Jesus surrounded himself with a team… Yes, we can understand part of the idea of choosing 12 disciples was to provide a metaphor for a reconstructed and renewed 12 tribes of Israel.

None-the-less, the practical side of Jesus’ mission required the help and participation of others. He doesn’t wait for them to come to him but at the outset of his ministry spends time going after candidates, most who are nothing like himself.

So what kind of friend is Jesus looking for? Who are these “friends” of Jesus?

If the call of the first disciples is any indication, Jesus wasn’t looking for experts in religious discourse, cheerleaders who would be part of an entourage, role models of high moral character and religious piety or techies versed in communication theory and practice. He doesn’t go headhunting at the local synagogue or collect resumes from Jerusalem.

Instead, he goes to the lake shore that probably doesn’t smell real good. If you’ve ever been around a commercial fishing dock, you know what I mean. There is a distinct odor of fish, and it is here Jesus invites some fishermen to be on his team.

While the text gives us no indication of the specific roles Jesus was looking for in Simon, Andrew, James and John, we can get a clue at least about the basic character of the disciples he was calling and, indeed, still calls today.

Before we go there, though, we have to remember that any entrepreneurial venture worth its salt begins with a solid mission statement. (SLIDE) Here it is: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (1:15). The time is now, God is here, change your ways and believe the good news.

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