In a previous post in the Empowering Subjects Category, we noticed that Jesus was teaching in their synagogues (spiritual formation), proclaiming the good news of the kingdom (evangelism), and healing every disease and sickness (serving). This is what it means to be a worker.
Jesus not only did these things, however, he also equipped his followers to do them. Jesus changed the world by growing the kingdom of God through teaching, proclamation of the kingdom, and serving plus also equipping his followers to do the same. In this case we don’t have to ask WWJD? We know what he did, so instead we simply ask What Did Jesus Do?
Jesus’ approach to equipping workers enlightens us. It included at least four intentional activities: 1) He set an example of how to minister (Matthew 4:18-9:38; 11:1), 2) he gave the twelve actual power to minister (Matthew 10:1), 3) he instructed them about their work (Matthew 10), and 4) he sent them out to actually do the work he was training them to do (Matthew 10:5-8). A couple years later, after they received the Holy Spirit, these men turned the world upside down. Jesus changed the world by demonstrating, declaring, and describing the kingdom of God and training his disciples to do the same.
Empowering Subjects is a training program that seeks to do what Jesus did. We want to empower subjects of the King to be the workers Jesus called for. So we are seeking to follow his approach to training workers.
- Time and distance do not allow us to set an example for all the participants of Empowering Subjects that is as personal, prolonged and powerful as Jesus’ example. But we do tell stories in the lessons, follow-up materials, and website of ways we are SHAREing the kingdom. And we encourage participants to share their own examples with each other.
- Nor can we impart the actual power to minister that Jesus gave, but still we can “empower” people. One way we can do so is by making them aware of the power that God has given them. Through his Spirit, God has provided each of us with gifts and a transformed life that enable us to minister to others.
- Instructing subjects of the King is something we very much can do. We believe the Scriptures are God-inspired and are useful for training in righteousness. So we rely heavily on Scripture for instructing people about changing the world. This instruction occurs in the seminar lessons, the follow-up materials, and the website.
- Following Jesus’ example of training, we also gently but unapologetically send people out to actually do the things we are seeking to learn. After all, Empowering Subjects is not merely teaching but is also training. In the follow-up materials we guide people to take baby steps at first, followed by a little larger steps as time goes by, so that they learn to actually SHARE the kingdom.
Empowering Subjects seeks to prepare subjects of the King to know the sacrifice, fulfillment, and joy of actually changing the world like Jesus. This is no small matter. A few proof texts and techniques are hardly adequate. Read on.