Mark 6:7-14 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in their belts– but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them. King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.”
I wonder how you would put on a list of Jesus’ spiritual gifts? Prophecy? Healing? Leadership? Clearly all these apply and many more. However, would you include Administration? You should!
To most people the word ‘administration’ produces negative responses. And I used to be one of them. However, we all rely on good administration to make things run smoothly and so we can expect God to have made provision for godly administration in his church.
When I first worked with Terry Virgo I needed to learn about Biblical Administration – so I started by studying the Bible. I felt God lead me in a wonderful way to discover nuggets of truth, and I now want to help you share my excitement and see that Jesus himself gives us a wonderful model of practical administration. In order to do so we must first understand the context, a vital part of successful Administration.
What an extraordinary experience it must have been to have accompanied Jesus. What mind-blowing things the disciples must have witnessed! By the time Jesus returned to Nazareth he had already travelled extensively preaching, teaching and healing, even restoring Jairus’ dead daughter to life. And now, in the very place where he could have hoped to be welcomed, he was being rejected.
In chapter 6 of Mark’s gospel we read that it was shortly after this rejection that Jesus took deliberate steps to multiply his ministry (v7ff). The disciples had accompanied him for over a year and had seen much happen at his hands. No doubt they had grown familiar with seeing miracles, expecting them to happen. They had grown used to seeing him mobbed by the crowds and being welcomed with shouts of joy wherever he went. But now he was saying something different – it was their time to go out without him and do the same.
Those who are leaders in the church, perhaps of small groups, face the same challenge. There comes a time when it is necessary to take a risk and trust people to do what they have seen you doing. They must ‘go it alone’ for a season to see what they have learnt. But they are not to be cast off. They must know that you are still there for them, eager for them to succeed and ready to share their troubles and joys. What did Jesus do?
As he sent them out he gave them authority to cast out unclean spirits. He also told them to go without any baggage or provisions. This was learning time! Up to this point he had been the provider; it was his faith that had ensured their daily bread and care. Now they were on their own, their first ministry trip.
How they must have had ‘butterflies in their stomachs’ as they walked away from him in pairs. Where were they to go? What were they to say? Suddenly all that they had observed and all that he had taught them by word and example seemed to evaporate from their minds. But they went out and did what he did, ‘preaching that men should repent’ (v12), casting out demons and healing the sick. And, joy, oh joy, they saw people delivered, healed and come to salvation just as happened when Jesus ministered!
So much was happening that the grape-vine of gossip worked overtime and word reached King Herod. As if the news he was hearing were not shocking enough it was also being said that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead. What fear must have overcome Herod, the one who had had John beheaded unjustly to satisfy his wife Herodias’ fury at having been found out for her infidelity.
Meanwhile, the disciples continued to preach and gain in boldness, getting increasingly excited about what they saw happening as they continued to minister from village to village.
Learning Point: Understand the context in which you are ministering