S (Scripture): Acts 18:18 Paul, after staying many more days in Corinth, said farewell to the brothers and sailed away to Syria accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because he had made a vow. 19 When they reached Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila behind there, but he himself went into the synagogue and addressed the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay longer, he would not consent, 21 but said farewell to them and added, “I will come back to you again if God wills.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.
O (Observation): Paul befriends Priscilla and Aquila and does some ministry with them. They go with him to Ephesus, and they stay there and establish some more ministries. What is it about their arrangement that gives them the desire and willingness to do that?!
A (Application): These actions of Priscilla and Aquila are almost unheard of in our country these days. Who would they move with their pastor to a new place in order to establish a hub of ministry for God? Well, actually, I know a few who have done that very thing : )
This form of disciple-making falls into the category of “pick up your cross and follow me,” which Christ encourages.
As a pastor, I’ve known folks to move around to follow a call. As I follow and have worked with 3DM – a discipleship-focused ministry – they do this very thing: disciples follow their leader…then the followers become the leaders. Then those followers become leaders. It’s a strange mix of shepherds and sheep. In fact, one of their mantras is “look like a shepherd from the back, and sheep from the front”. The idea is that you are following someone, but that also, others are following you. (Technically, all following Christ, but through the leadership of disciple-makers.)
This is how the early church worked. This is how I will be okay with pouring a lot of my heart and soul into a few key leaders, and also be okay with letting them lead.
What works better for you? To be a leader or follower?
Can you recall times when you were called upon to be a shepherd or a sheep?
P (Prayer): Lord, give us strength to lead and to follow and the wisdom to know when to do each. Amen.