And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.
To avoid being pressed by the crowd, Jesus asks Peter if He could borrow His boat. Peter complies by assisting the Master. Jesus can now teach the crowds at a comfortable distance and Peter was able to participate in His ministry.
It can go unnoticed with a cursory reading but my friend Jim Cameron picked this up in a Quiet Time recently. It’s a Discipler’s simple act of great significance, ask for help. Jesus asked to use Peter’s boat. He provided Peter with an opportunity to participate in a very important event, the Rabbi’s teaching. This may seem trivial to the untrained eye but it has huge ramifications in relationship and ministry. I think most people want to be helpful, Christian or non. Asking for assistance can actually lead to a deeper level of relationship and trust. Peter didn’t seem to hesitate with the Rabbi’s request to use his boat. In fact, this was Peter’s first opportunity to demonstrate his allegiance to the Messiah. Often times we think, as Disciplemakers, we should be doing all the work and never asking for assistance. This would be a big mistake. Not even the Messiah had the “Messiah Complex.” If we don’t ask for help, we rob people of their chance to serve and more importantly miss a key opportunity to integrate them into ministry. This is also a way to prevent the “Hired Gun” syndrome where the clergy do all the ministry because they have been to cemetery…ah, I mean seminary. You’ve probably seen guys in sports who always want the ball. We call them “ball hogs.” If we aren’t careful we could do the same thing in ministry.
Tips for integrating people into ministry;
· When asked if they can help, say yes
· Start with small requests
· Delegate components of ministry
· Don’t do anything by yourself
· Affirm others as you speak and teach
· Get out of the way, let someone else do something
· Give feed back
· Always thank the person (publically, if you can)
Can you think of other ways to integrate people into ministry? Email me with your ideas. FJ54
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