Ministry among the unreached: What does a disciple of Jesus do?
“I want to go overseas and live for Jesus, but what can I do?”
“I want to go serve, but what will my role be?”
In Mark 3:14 it says that Jesus chose the 12 disciples, the ones he later sent out to the nations,
- to be with him,
- to be sent out to preach, and
- to have authority to drive out demons.
Let’s break down that job description and look at their roles and responsibilities… and let’s see how people can do these same things today.
to be with Jesus Know Jesus, spend time with him in prayer, and love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. Enjoy the presence and direction of the Holy Spirit in leading, and just be God’s friend.
to be sent to preach (tell people stuff) Go out to where the people who don’t know him are, to learn to speak their language and talk to them, and talk about Jesus. Explain the truth about Jesus as he sends you into different situations and places. Just tell them what you believe, who Jesus is, and how he died and rose again from the dead.
to have spiritual authority over evil Break down strongholds in minds and hearts with the simple word of Christ. Cast out demons, heal the sick, and raise the dead.
Jesus picked his disciples to do these things, and the Father is still sending people today to finish the task of getting the good news told in every language and people group. (Matt 24:14) There are still a few places where people have no contact with a testimony of Jesus. He’s sending people to go and be that testimony.
Really, is it that simple?? Well, it often takes all kinds of work and planning to get into and live in these unreached places where no-one knows Jesus. And it’s vital to have a good team or partner to help us get there and stay there well. But yes, the work we do, the job description we have, can be this simple and straightforward:
Be with Jesus, talk about Him, and demonstrate the Kingdom.
“Really??” people might ask, “Is that enough to do with my life? Don’t I have to be doing something more official and intentional like ‘church planting’ or establishing a ‘ministry center’ ?” “Can I just be a person sent to know him and follow him?”
Yes you can! After all, this is the job description that Jesus gave his disciples in Acts 1:8. He said, “You will be my witnesses (ie. my people who can talk about me) in the farthest places of the earth.” Let’s not let the the job description that Jesus gave his disciples become questionable, lame, or deficient in our eyes. Let’s not start thinking that we need to have bigger and better plans than simply knowing him and making him known.
After all, it is the knowledge of Jesus that saves, not anything else that we can establish or set up. Paul talked about the gospel, the news about Jesus, bearing fruit and growing in the whole world (Col 1:5-6). So people should feel free to give themselves fully to this, and be confident that they’re doing something worthwhile.
People often worry about finding the right, effective ministry that they can join. I know I did for a very long time, acting as if everything depended on finding the perfect, successful ministry to be a part of. But if Christ is living inside of you, you know him well, and he’s given you the ministry of reconciliation, you are a walking ministry. It was enough for Jesus to walk into places for God to do mighty works. And guess what? He’s inside of you, walking with you! So that’s all you need. It’s not about what you think you can do. It’s about trusting that he is living inside of you and preparing good works for you to do. (Eph 2:10)
you can be a life of just:
- getting somewhere where people don’t know Jesus
- learning the language and figuring out how to talk to people
- telling people about Jesus, and doing his miracles
- teaching and encouraging the ones crazy enough to believe to love and follow Him (in other words: making disciples)
He leads us forward with the good news of Jesus. He gives us opportunities to share the good news and make disciples. And he will build his strong, stable, unshakeable Church.
Want to go do this? Find a group that will help you go and live out this simple job description. Find people or a team who will walk with you and help you go forward into these places.
And he promised to take care of us and be with us until the very last day. (Matt 28:20)