Who are the 3 people who you are most invested/investing in? If you’re married, one of these people is likely your spouse, and appropriately so. If you have children it is also likely that you are investing yourself into your children. Today, I am going to ask you, who are the two additional people that you are heavily invested/ing outside your nuclear family?
So who are your three? If you are not sure, then stop here in your reading, and ask God to help you think of three people who will pursue God’s mission with you. We are not meant to love Jesus alone. We are intended for community. Who were Jesus’ closest three?
Everyone knows that Jesus had 12 disciples. But it is also clear that within that group, Jesus had another group. CS Lewis called it his, “inner circle”. That inner circle was made up of Peter, James, and John. They were the group present at the transfiguration. They were also the ones Jesus invited to pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane (yes they fell asleep). These men were Jesus’ closest friends, they made up the core of his family on mission.
So who is your core group, your core team, your family on mission, your inner circle? Finding these partners is the first step in creating a disciple making culture. Within this group we find diversity of thought, safety in numbers, accountability when tempted, multiplied resources, and added manpower. With 3-4 members, a very strong team can exist.
I served as a foot soldier in the US Army from 1997-1999. I was an infantry rifleman that operated a light machine gun called the M249 SAW. I praise God that I never had to shoot that weapon at anyone, but I was trained and prepared to do so, had we been called into live action. What many civilians may not know is that every soldier is part of a larger combat unit. While many people have heard of companies (typically 80-150 soldiers), platoons (30 soldiers), and squads (8-12 soldiers), many people have never learned about the smallest combat unit called the fire team.
The fire team has 4 members. The point man, who is flanked on one side by his grenadier, and on the other side by his machine gunner (that was me), and one more member armed with a rifle. This team drilled together, practiced together, learned together. In combat they move as one, they learn how to cover one another. The team’s weapons were complementary to each other providing powerful and explosive firepower exactly where it was needed. Each squad had an Alpha Team and a Bravo Team. Both teams were equally equipped and ready to act.
OK so let’s assume you have your team. Now what? How do we train so that together our effectiveness is multiplied? Today I am going to teach you a simple tool that can help you get focused on the preparation and the mission. This tool is called:
UP, IN, and OUT
UP, IN, and OUT is a tool designed Mike Breen and made famous in his book, Building a Discipling Culture. It is a simple way to think about the actions of a disciple of Jesus. I will explain:
UP: This is our up relationship. It is how we worship our God through our lives, words, actions, and desires. Consider Rom 12:1
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your true and proper worship.”
This relates to our devotional disciplines, our love for our Lord, and our obedience. How is your walk with Jesus today, this week, this month? How are you Following Jesus now? We want to ask real questions, and encourage real authentic answers. I encourage my disciples by answering these questions honestly and concisely. This sets the tone for how transparent people are willing to be, and how long they expect to talk.
IN: This relates to our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Are we loving each other well? Are we demonstrating God’s love for the world by the way we treat one another?
OUT: Are we engaging in Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost world? There are two primary avenues we encourage our leaders to set goals weekly. 1. How are you fishing for men? AKA: How are you engaging non-Christians with the hope of the gospel? 2. How are you feeding the hungry? AKA: How are you caring for the hurting, hungry, thirsty, wanderer…?
My suggestion is that you meet weekly with your Family on Mission. This group will become a close knit team that loves each other and seeks to advance God’s Kingdom into the world around you.