Jesus had many followers. He often spoke to multitudes of people, and we have identified some members of those crowds previously. Many came out to hear Jesus because they were curious. His fame spread quickly in the early days of his ministry. Some followed Jesus from town to town eager to hear and learn more. Some of those “following” Jesus were not interesting in learning from him, but were seeking incriminating evidence with which to accuse him. Among the throng of those listening were people that loved Jesus, hated Jesus, and various levels in between.
Jesus had many disciples (students) but from a large group he choose 12. After the crowds went away – or Jesus escaped from them – he would offer explanation or answer questions in a more intimate setting. Think of it as the difference between the church sanctuary and a small group. Continue reading →
I met Michael Spencer in 2003 when my wife and I visited the ministry he was a part of. After joining that ministry, I was introduced to an early morning small group, Men’s Morning with God. The poster said “bring your Bible and coffee.” I’m a big fan of both of those things. We met twice a week at 7 a.m. studying the scripture and praying before work. I have been involved with other small groups before and since, but I stayed with that particular group for the duration of our ministry in Kentucky.
I thought that particular situation was unique. There were about 150 people all living within a few miles of each other, ministering together, and all beginning the work day at basically the same time. Still, our men’s group was never more than 10 or 12 (and sometimes just Michael and I). I have been blessed to find an early morning men’s group once again. This morning there were 5 of us. From different churches, different vocations and with different schedules, this is a group of men that meet at 6 a.m. to read, discuss and pray. One of those men was a friend of my dad, and one of my teachers back in the day. Another member of the group went to high school with my brother. You gotta love small towns.
And I love finding a group of men willing to be up and dressed before they have to be, in order to pray with and for each other.