As church leaders, we often define our success by the crowds we attract. We long to impact as many people as possible. We desire to lead the largest ministry in town. We are energized by a packed house. We want more twitter followers and Facebook friends.
The truth is, church leaders love crowds! There’s a reason Outreach Magazine publishes the “Top 100 Largest Churches” & “Fastest Growing Churches” each year. Don’t get me wrong, our churches should be growing and we need to be reaching the crowds.
Luckily, Jesus gives us a model for both attracting a crowd and investing in the few so we can have an impact long after we are gone.
Jesus could attract a crowd. I recently read that Jesus’ followers could have easily numbered anywhere between 5,000-10,000 people. He often taught at gatherings of thousands of people at a time.
As church leaders, there’s a risk in focusing all of our energy on the masses. People can become numbers and our emphasis is on putting more butts in the seats. If we’re not careful, we can lose sight of long-term impact and make our weekly event the priority.
Jesus’ focus was not going from town to town in an effort to attract a crowd. He knew His role was to give the ministry of advancing the Kingdom away to others.
That’s why Jesus spent the majority of His time investing in the few. He handpicked a group of “uneducated men” that He shared His life with. Jesus inspired this group to the point that they were not just PASSIONATE about the vision, they OWNED it, and it OWNED them! When He left this world, He left the entire future of His church in their hands. Obviously, based on the fact that you’re reading this post, Jesus’ strategy worked.
This is the challenge for us as leaders. We have to ask ourselves…
- Am I trying to carry the vision myself, burning the candle at both ends just to make things happen?
- Or am I investing in and equipping a group of leaders that will move things and go places I never imagined possible?
Who are you investing in? Who are the “few” that you’re empowering to change the world? How do you invest in them?