Finding the Right People for the Groundwork of the Church
Part 3, Knowing Jesus Better Series John 1:35-42 Carey Nieuwof, a former lawyer and founding pastor of a large church in Barrie, Ontario once wrote, “Having the right people is better than simply having people… A few aligned people can change the world.” Finding the right people for laying the foundation of the church is very important. Jesus wanted to impact the world and He was going to do that with a handful of people. He was very determined to personally handpick those who would form the foundational core of His church. The Lord promised in Matthew 16:18b, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Finding the right people with the right heart, with the right attitude is essential in building His church. Jesus did focus on at least three things to make this happen. 1. Jesus focused on whom He can gain. “40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon… 43 [Jesus] Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”… 45 Philip found Nathanael…” “10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10. • Lost means unable to see God’s truth and know God on their own effort. • Lost also means living in spiritual darkness. The light of Christ must come into their life and teach them about sin, the penalty of sin, and the cost of sin upon Jesus. • Jesus left His comfort zone and came to where people were. • He intentionally engaged people and invited them to examine His words and life closely. • The Lord concentrated on whom heaven can gain and by passed who wasn’t ready yet. 2. Jesus focused on whom he can transform. “43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” • Jesus focused on who has potential to change. • Life transformation is key in building His church. • Lost people are always looking for credible life changing testimonies before they will even consider exploring Jesus. 3. Jesus focused on who would align with His mission. “41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).” John 1:41-42 • A few people can change the world. • Jesus chose 12 people aligned with His mission. • The work of seeking the lost is not complete without the intentionality of making disciples. • It takes time to make disciples. • Jesus was patient in teaching, loving, caring and forgiving His disciples. Three things we learned today. First, we should focus on whom heaven can gain. Second, we need to be more determined to become disciples ourselves. Third important lesson, making other disciples. We must become disciple makers for Jesus.