Have you ever really wondered, what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? I mean, is it just doing good things, being a better person, reading the Bible, praying more, maybe going to church?
Is there more to it than that, something far deeper? That's today. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouy, and in just a minute, we'll begin a series we've never played before called Real Discipleship, How Jesus Chose to Change the World. Chip taught these messages many years ago, but we've decided to bring him back because they're still so applicable to us today. For the next several programs, Chip's in the Gospel of Mark explaining, as he just said, what it means to be a disciple.
And if you're looking for more practical guidance on this topic, stick around after each message for some additional thoughts from Chip. With all that said, let's join him now as he kicks off this series with his message, Empowering Others, The Secret to a Life of Impact. Give me a fish, and I'll eat for a day.
Teach me to fish, and I'll eat for a lifetime. The way for God to use your life and my life is not by us seeing all the needs of people and doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, doing. The way for your life to really have multiple concentric circle impact over decades is for you to learn what God wants you to learn, and then you empower others. The Bible calls it discipleship, spiritual multiplication, taking what God has given you and passing it strategically, willfully, in a calculated way to other people with the vision that they in turn will give it to others, and they in turn will give it to others.
I figured this out with a little computer one time. If one Christian reached one other Christian in six months, and then they both reached another person in another six months, four people, and then eight, 16, in about 32 to 35 years, we could reach the entire population of the earth with the gospel. But unfortunately, the church seems more committed to addition than multiplication. What we're going to get to do today is learn how Jesus empowered people, how he gave away the ministry, and how you and I... Now, some of you are going to say, wait a minute.
I'm not that involved in ministry. Think of this through the lens of a parent. Do you want to empower your kids?
Do you want to invest in them? Or a small group leader or a friend? Some of you can apply this right at your work. So let's roll up your sleeves. Open up to Mark Chapter 6. This is one of my favorite passages.
I've got to really get ready for this. Mark Chapter 6, and here we go. We're going to look at three things. First, the prerequisite of empowering people for impact.
Second, we're going to look at the process and spend the most of our time there. And third, the product of empowering people for impact. From verse 34, Chapter 6, when Jesus landed and saw the large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. I want to make three observations out of this verse that if it's not true in my life and your life, there's no use trying to impart what we don't possess.
That just doesn't work. Observation number one, or the first prerequisite is a personal, authentic walk with God. You can't give away and I can't give away what I don't have. And I get that from the word compassion. See, what I've learned is that some of you feel more deeply or more tenderly than I do or others, but the kind of compassion it's talking about here only comes from being so in tune with God that you begin to see people the way God sees people.
Compassion is that welling up down deep in your heart where you don't just feel it, but you feel compelled to do something to meet the need of a person. And that flows out of a personal, intimate, and authentic walk with God. The second prerequisite I get out of the little phrase like sheep without a shepherd. When Jesus looked around and he saw, you know, we're going to read that there's 5,000 people, men alone. So if, you know, half of them are married and they have one or two children, we're looking at 12, 15, 20,000 people.
There's a multitude. And he looks at this multitude and his lens is they're like sheep without a shepherd. Well, what's he mean? Well, it's like a sheep that's downcast.
The sheep can be cast and rolled over and someone has to pick it up or it'll die there. Their life doesn't work. And I think he looked at their eyes and he said, you know, their marriages don't work. They don't know how to discipline their kids. Their lives aren't prioritized. They're lonely. They're depressed. They're discouraged. Their lives, they don't have truth. They don't know how to live it.
And so it's falling apart. And so they're like sheep without a shepherd. The second prerequisite is a passion to be used by God. Looking at the world and having not just a conviction, but a passion that you can be a vehicle to step into the lives of these people and touch them and teach them how marriages work and show them how to discipline their children and show them how to overcome loneliness and depression and struggle and insecurity like we all have. The third thing I get from Jesus' response, when he saw this, he did what would do the most good. He began teaching them many things. And the third prerequisite is a growing grasp of the Word of God. And when I say a grasp of the Word of God, I don't mean just an intellectual knowledge.
I don't mean just being in a Bible study. I mean where you get to know this book so that when a person comes to you and says, my marriage is falling apart. I don't know what to do. She does this. I say this. I do this. We try and talk.
It doesn't work. And where you look at them and say, look, you open up to Ephesians chapter 4 and you walk them through a godly pattern of communication and conflict resolution. And I say, I'm depressed and I'm struggling. And you take them to Genesis chapter 6 and you open it up and say, look, see this fellow? His face was downcast.
He was depressed. Here's what God's admonition was to him. And this isn't working and that isn't working where you can take God's Word and apply it to areas of people's lives that give them hope and truth and life and love. Now before you turn off your button and say, well, gosh, I don't know the Bible that well. This sermon must not be for me. This is a prerequisite.
I don't. If you know one verse, you know one verse more than someone else. And if you're practicing two verses, you now have two things to share.
Okay? God's not asking you to be Mr. All-knowing or Miss All-knowing or have it all together. He's saying, if you walk with me authentically and if you'll have a passion for lost and hurting people, get in the scriptures and share what you do know and I'll use it. Now how do you pull that off?
What's the process? How do you quote disciple others? How do you reproduce your life? Ken Blanchard became a Christian after he wrote The One-Minute Manager. If you want a great, I mean a great book on how to make disciples, it's The One-Minute Manager. We got to talk to him at a conference afterwards and he said, you know, after I became a Christian, I read through the gospels and I studied the life of Christ. He said, I just by chance happened on what Jesus does.
He talks about four quadrants. He says, first of all, you give people direction or information. This is what you need to do. He says, then you teach them how. You coach them. You do it, they watch and you do it with them. Third, you give them support. They do it and you watch them and you support them. Finally, you delegate.
You give them the job. That's the pattern. It's a biblical pattern. What you're going to see is that Jesus in two miracles is going to teach how to coach, then he's going to teach how to support.
The first miracle will have to do with 5,000 people who get fed and Jesus will coach the disciples on what the shepherds have to do. What's the need in this passage? He sees all these people, what's the need? They need a shepherd. So what's he going to do? He's going to develop 12 shepherds and 11 of the 12 are going to do the job because he knows, unlike us, that in three years he's checking out.
If they can't do the job when he leads, the movement has a problem. But he developed great shepherds who could coach, support, and then delegate. The first miracle with the 5,000, we're going to learn how to coach people, how to give away our faith and feed them spiritually. In the second miracle, we're going to learn how to lead people, how to teach them how to make decisions, how to overcome adversity and how they can begin to impact other people. Well, let's start. Verse 35, by this time it's late, there's thousands of people.
It was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. This is interesting. They're taking initiative. They're growing. This is a remote place they said and it's already very late. It's good observation, men.
Here's their analysis and their suggestion. Verse 36, send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat. Now, the good news of this so far is the disciples, remember they got to preach. They've healed some people, cast out a few demons. They feel like they're on the team and now there's a big group and they see a need and they're taking initiative.
That's wonderful. But see, when you want to develop people, anytime they come to you, whether it's your son or whether it's your daughter or someone in your small group or a friend that looks to you spiritually, anytime they come with a suggestion or a question, you know what that's called? A teachable moment.
It's a chance for you to develop and stretch them and you need to be thinking this way. So Jesus takes the teachable moment. Verse 37, good developers then give a timely challenge. But he answered them emphatically, you give them something to eat. In the original language, you should be over here and it's pulled to the front of the sentence to say, you give them something to eat. And they're scratching their head.
Now, notice their analysis. They said to him, no way, man. That's a little loose. He says, that would take eight months of a man's wages. Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?
In other words, I'm sorry, Jesus. One, it's impractical. Two, it's illogical. Three, we don't have the resources. There's no way we can do it. And see, when you're trying to develop people, whether it's a son or a daughter, a friend, a small group leader, what they tend to do is always look at their lack of resources and what your job in developing a person's life spiritually is to help them focus on what they have instead of what they don't have. See, human nature is we always focus on what we don't have. You know, we'd start this big thing. We don't have enough money. I'd help so and so, but I don't know enough.
We always focus on what we don't have. So let's see what he does. He forces them to focus, verse 38, on what they have. How many loaves do you have?
Go and seed. So they go do some research. When they found out, they said five and two fish.
Five little barley loaves that were small pancake size, not very big, and two small fish. So he's redirected their focus. Now he's going to organize for success.
Listen to how he does it, verse 39. You see, people who are developing never think about what's going to happen because they don't have a lot of faith. People who are developing others, they organize for the success and what God is going to do in advance. And what that communicates to the people they're helping is, oh yeah, this is going to work. See, when you coach people, what they need more than skill is confidence. Can you imagine the confidence? There's 20,000 people out there and you've got these little loaves and two little fish, and Jesus says to us, pretend you're his disciple. Okay, I'd like all you to have all the people to sit down in groups, all this green grass, have them sit in groups of hundreds and fifties. And we're thinking why?
We don't have any food. See, he organizes for success. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, looking up to the heaven, he gives thanks and he broke the loaves. Now he models dependency. See, what we don't want to communicate to people is, yeah, see, I know how to do it. You just watch me. What is Jesus, the Son of God, modeling?
Hey, it's not me. As being fully man and fully God, as fully God it was him, but he breaks the loaves and expresses his dependency that if I will take what you guys give me and if I will offer it to God, the issue isn't how much you have to bring. The issue is are you willing to bring what you have and offer it and make it available to God and let him multiply it any way he would choose.
So he models that dependency and let's find out what happens. Then he gave them to the disciples and set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Verse 42, here it happens. They all ate and were satisfied and the disciples picked up 12 baskets of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of men, the word here for is, it's not a generic word for men and women, it's the word for just men who had eaten was 5,000.
Is one of the few miracles, it's in all four gospels and it was very impressive. They all remembered it, they all recorded it. So notice the last thing he does. It's the goal of coaching. The goal of coaching isn't that people think you're a great coach.
What's the goal of coaching? Winning. How do you become a winner spiritually? You become a winner spiritually when the people you're helping, whether it's your son or your daughter, a cousin, someone who's just casually that you know or someone in a real semi-official discipling relationship, you are a winner when they can do what you can do. Who gets to have the success in the story? Jesus knows he can multiply fish. Jesus knows he can do miracles. Who needs to have the successful experience? The disciples.
What's the text say? They passed it out. God used them. See, most of us really don't believe God could use us. We really don't believe that deep in our heart. You know what Jesus wanted to coach them to learn? God can use an ordinary guy like you, an ordinary guy like me. And we would say, yeah, I don't have the resources.
Why do you think this story's in the Bible? How much do you have? Not much. Great.
That's what I need. Isn't that what he's saying? This fellow named Jack King, he's involved in sports ministry with Athletes in Action. Does a lot of baseball teams around the world and Jack has got the gift of evangelism. I mean, when we were on a bus, he shares Christ with this guy, this guy, this guy. I saw him lead two weeks. He led maids to Christ, bus drivers to Christ, and he did it in a winsome way.
I mean, not offensive at all. But he had a little plan. I watched him do it two or three times. He'd share Christ.
I remember on a bus this one time and this guy, and I was about two seats back and kind of listening. And the guy's just ready to become a Christian. Guess what Jack does? I mean, I'm thinking, close the deal, man.
Close the deal. You know what he does? He stops. He says, excuse me just a second. He said, hey, Jimmy, come on up here.
Wait for a second. And this young college sophomore comes up and sits down with him. I mean, I'm thinking, hey, Jack, I don't know much about evangelism, but the guy's ready to become a Christian.
And he brings this guy. He introduces him, lets him talk a few minutes. And then he turns to Jimmy and says, you know, I've explained to him and he's really interested in becoming a Christian.
Could you talk with him a little bit? I think that he'll be ready to pray and receive Christ here soon. And he says, I'll be back in just a second. He'd go back to the bus. Five or ten minutes later, Jimmy's bowing his head with this guy.
Guess what? Jimmy's led his first person to the Lord. See, Jack King understands he's led hundreds of people to Christ.
Does he need to learn how? What's he doing? He's multiplying his life. You want God to use you? Multiply your life.
That's how you do it. Out of this passage and how to coach people to multiply your life. One, remember this, accomplishing tasks is less important than developing people. If you want two words to remember, grow people.
It's more important that your son or daughter learns something than the garage gets absolutely clean or that the floor is spotless or that the tub doesn't have any residue of rain. It's more important that the small group gets a chance to lead. See, develop people, grow people. You'll get the task done, but accomplishing tasks is less important than developing people because there's always a lot of tasks, but there's very few people who really want to grow. Number two, ability is always less important than availability. It's not what you can do that is crucial. It's what God can do through you. So, get others involved.
The focus is grow people. The method is get other people involved. Don't go anyplace alone. Don't pray alone. I mean, you know, except for your private time. If you're going to share Christ, bring a friend. If you're going to pray, if you're involved in anything, bring people.
Get them involved and they'll catch it. Third, resources are always less important than reliance. You'll never have enough. We take the steps and God provides.
My philosophy of leadership is get the snowball rolling downhill and it's a pickup speed, try and decide where it ought to go because my observation is in people's lives and organizations and churches, most of them never get the snowball off the hill. It needs to rain a little bit more. I don't think it'll pack quite right. Well, you know, about three miles down there's a turn. We don't know how we're going to turn.
So what? Get it going. Resources are always less important than reliance. Bring what you have to God and He'll do something. The strategy is build on what you have. Focus is to grow people. The method is get others involved. The strategy, build on what you have, not on what you don't have.
Chip will be back in just a minute with his application. You've been listening to the first part of his message, Empowering Others, The Secret to a Life of Impact, from his series, Real Discipleship. Are you familiar with the term compounded interest?
In economics, it's simply the idea of rapidly growing your investment. So what does that have to do with becoming a disciple of Jesus? Through this six-part series, Chip explains that discipleship is kind of like spiritual multiplication. Our job is not just to lead people to Jesus. We're called to help them mature in their faith and empower them to take others on that same journey. So join us as we study the Gospel of Mark and discover how to spiritually invest in the lives of others. And if you happen to miss any part of this series, the Chip Ingram app is a great way to catch up. Well, I'm joined in studio now by Chip, and Chip, over the next several programs, we're going to revisit a series you taught several years ago that's still relevant to us now.
So take a minute and share more about what you'll be teaching and what you're hoping our listeners will learn from this series. Well, I hope they really understand when Jesus said, follow me and I'll make you fishers of men. When he said to those early disciples and to all of us, go into all the world and make disciples, how does that really work?
This was an older series. I remember going to Santa Cruz Bible Church a number of years ago. And as I went there, I had been a pastor for I think about eight or nine years. And I thought, Lord, I really need in this very non-Christian environment. I mean, there were less than like 4% of people that went to any religious institution, let alone a Bible-believing church. And people came from all kinds of backgrounds, Dave. It was just absolutely, it was a great run.
It was so amazing. And I wanted to sort of develop a baseline in this very unchurched kind of non-Christian area of America of who Jesus really was and what it really means to be a follower. And you would think that would be difficult, but here's what I have to tell you. They also didn't have baggage. They didn't have tradition.
They didn't have expectations. They fell in love with the Jesus of the gospels, not the Jesus of American culture. And so part of why I wanted to share this, to kind of bring this older series back, I think we need a fresh view of what it means to be a real follower, a real apprentice, a real disciple of Jesus Christ. Thanks, Chip. Let me also encourage you to join us for this entire series as we dive into the Gospel of Mark and discover what it means to be a disciple and a disciple maker.
I really think you're going to learn a lot. Well, Chip, as we wrap up this program, today you taught from a familiar passage, Jesus feeding 5,000 people. Explain what we can learn about the disciple-making process from this story. Well, Dave, when you see the context here, Jesus sees the needs of people, like sheep without a shepherd.
They're downcast. It's challenging. It's very much like our world. I mean, so many needs everywhere. And he wants to get off and have a little retreat in the context of this passage. And then he's overwhelmed and there's 5,000 people and there's all these needs. And I think he begins to help these disciples realize that even when you feel like you have no resources to meet the needs of people around you, that God sees the needs. God actually wants to use us. And it sounds kind of funny, but he wanted them to learn to accomplish the impossible with what they didn't have.
Let me say that again. To accomplish the impossible, feed 5,000 people with what they didn't have. And what it required was coming to Jesus with the needs because you deeply care. And the three things, by way of review, I just said this, a personal, authentic walk with God is a prerequisite for being empowered by the Lord Jesus and being used. These men were walking with Jesus. They were traveling with Jesus. They wanted to respond.
They were in the midst of hearing his voice. They were actually living out their faith. And they found themselves with overwhelming need. And I think a lot of us are there right now. Second, they had a passion to be used. I mean, it was like, Lord, what do we do? And it isn't interesting that Jesus didn't solve it for them. He says, you feed them. And I think all of us are looking for someone or something or at times the government or the organizational church out there instead of what are the needs around us?
What are the issues? Where are the hurts? Where are they in our network of people that we know or at work or in our neighborhood or in the church? And just this passion to say, oh, Lord, use me. I really do believe that availability is much more important than ability, that just really being available. And then I think the final thing here is there has to be a platform of credibility. I mean, Jesus had done these miracles. He had demonstrated that he has the resources to help people. And I think in our own walk with God, we need to be the kind of people, not perfect, but where we're living out our faith in a manner that's consistent with the gospels.
So we have a platform where people would look to us when we want to help them. So real discipleship is more than going to a Bible study and filling in the questions or going to church and discussing the pastor sermon. Real discipleship is about being empowered by God to meet the needs of others for the glory of Christ. Encouraging wordship, thanks. As we close, if Living on the Edge is making a difference in your life and you'd like others to receive the same blessing, we'd love to have you partner with us. Thanks to the generosity of a few friends of the ministry. Every donation we receive between now and July 7th will be matched dollar for dollar. To send a gift, just go to livingontheedge.org, tap donate on the app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. And let me thank you in advance for your support. Well, for all of us here, this is Dave Drouie saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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