#ReimagineDISCIPLESHIP...by the Jesus:Ratios
by Phil Miglioratti @ The Reimagine.Network
Ponderings on how Jesus made disciples by relating to varied-sized-sets (groupings) of people.
You’ve heard me teach things in front of many witnesses.
Pass them on to people you can trust, and then they’ll be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2
- Ratio refers to a relationship-interaction-correspondence between two entities
- The ratio numbers indicate a relationship Jesus had with a person or set of people, as described in the Gospels. The numbers are presented here as descriptive but not determinative. For example, the 1:12 ratio can refer to a grouping of less or more than 12. The purpose is not to replicate the number exactly but to apply it to a set that is similar in function or size.
- Every Christ-follower who has an ongoing 1:1 (Jesus:You) relationship with the Lord must seek to replicate that with others.
- Every believer. Not only pastors, elders, deacons, church leaders, ministry directors, prayer champions, department officers, council members.
- 1:1 = Jesus interacting with an individual (John, Mary, woman a the well)
- 1:3 = Jesus with close friends (Lazarus-Mary-Martha, Peter-James-John ("come further with me")
- 1:12 = Jesus with the apostles
- 1:72 = Jesus sending out followers two-by-two for ministry
- 1:120 = Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to the Upper Room to birth the Church ("called out ones")
- 1:5,000 = Jesus preaching (proclaiming) and teaching (educating) seekers, impacting the community, influencing the culture)
Reimagine DiscipleMaking as . . .
1:1 = You and the person you are discipling
- The disciple that Jesus dearly loved was at the right of him at the table and was leaning his head on Jesus. John 13:23 TPT
Intentional one-on-one teaching, coaching, mentoring, encouraging an individual in their relationship with Jesus.
1:3 = You and your most personal relationships
- Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. When they got there, he told them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. He was very sad and troubled, 38 and he said to them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.” Matthew 26:36-38 ... For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20
Intentional interaction with family, closest friends, 2-or-3 in a scheduled routine.
1:12 = You and CohortsWho do you: Live with? Dine with on Thanksgiving? Hike/Golf with? Pray with over the phone? Serve with in ministry?
- One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names:
Simon (whom he named Peter), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the zealot), Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him). Luke 6:12-16 NLT
A leadership role in a: Sunday School Class? Fellowship Group? Prayer Gathering? Bible Study? Book Club? Men's/Women's Ministry
1:72 = You and your Ministry Team
- The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. Luke 10:1
Participation in a Leadership Council? Planning Team? Outreach Project? Elder/Deacon Ministry? Caring Team? Citywide Collaboration?
1:120 = You and your "Church"
During this time there was a meeting of the believers (about one hundred twenty of them). Acts 1:13-15 NCV
Your role/opportunities when the congregation is gathered for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching...
1:5,000 = You and a Conference, the Community, your City...
- When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came to him, and he began to teach them." Matthew 5:1
Widespread proclamation, Special events, Online communication.
Reimagine DiscipleMaking as . . .
- Personal relationship
- Sharing life: Meals, Sports. Music. Events.
- Reading/researching scripture
- Asking questions
- Serving together: Projects, Collaboration
- Praying for and with one another
- Inviting others to follow Jesus
Reimagine DiscipleMaking as . . .
- a process more than a program
- a relationship that includes but is not limited to routine or ritual
- both formal (scheduled with a routine) and casual (conversation in the flow of spending time together)
- the opportunity to coach, to counsel, as well as to communicate (teach, lead a discussion)
- a combination of biblical doctrine (what we believe) and spiritual disciplines (practices that form godly character)
Applying these ratios will result in experiences throughout the week that include but go beyond meetings in the church building. "Church" is expanded and extended, as it was meant to be. Church is not the "what" (a scheduled audience-formatted gathering; a class, a study, a workshop, an event). Church is "who"... the people gathering, praying, studying, praising, serving.
- Church is when we recognize the presence of Jesus in our midst and we are mindful of our calling to honor the Lord by being filled with the Holy Spirit in order to seek and serve God's kingdom
- Church is when a believer invites Jesus into every encounter (persons) and situation (work, school, events) to be revealed as Savior, Healer, Redeemer (evangelism, compassion, a prayer-care-share lifestyle)
- Church is when the people of God gather for worship, discipleship, fellowship, leadership, or stewardship (using our gifts to love neighbors and neighborhoods and nations). Whether 2 or 3, a dozen or so, ministry teams, gatherings by the hundreds or thousands
- Church is the English word for "ekklesia," the term in the BIble translated as "church." It does NOT refer to the building. It indicates a "called-out group of people" gathering for a specific purpose.
- From GodQuestions.org:
- Ekklesia is a Greek word defined as “a called-out assembly or congregation.” Ekklesia is commonly translated as “church” in the New Testament. For example, Acts 11:26 says that “Barnabas and Saul met with the church [ekklesia]” in Antioch. And in 1 Corinthians 15:9 Paul says that he had persecuted the church [ekklesia] of God.” The “called-out assembly,” then, is a congregation of believers whom God has called out of the world and “into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). The Greek ekklesia is the basis for our English words ecclesiastical (“pertaining to the church”) and ecclesiology (“the study of doctrine concerning the church”).
- The word in the New Testament was also used to refer to any assembly of people. In his address to the Sanhedrin, Stephen calls the people of Israel “the assembly [ekklesia] in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38). And in Acts 19:39, ekklesia refers to a convening of citizens to discuss legal matters. However, in most contexts, the word ekklesia is used to refer to the people who comprise the New Testament church.
- It is important that the church today understand the definition of ekklesia. The church needs to see itself as being “called out” by God. If the church wants to make a difference in the world, it must be different from the world. Salt is different from the food it flavors. God has called the church to be separate from sin (1 Peter 1:16), to embrace fellowship with other believers (Acts 2:42), and to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:14). God has graciously called us unto Himself: “‘Come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you’” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
This article and the ratio concept are fantastic, Phil. Great biblical insights that I've never seen captured and reflected in this way. My only thought is that the 1:1 ratio is most critical yet most ignored these days. Discipleship is about the "knowing, being and doing" of walking in the footsteps of Jesus and 1:1 provides the personal intensity and accountability required by most folks to translate knowing into being and doing. My most recent blog posts touch on those topics - feel free to share if you'd like...