Following Jesus: Ministry - Doing For and Being With

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” 

Many Christians adhere to the formula: Following Jesus = Serving People. Consequently, they stay busy with mission trips, feeding the hungry, and doing kind acts for others. All these are wonderful things to do for others. But notice again the first part of the job description of Jesus’ original disciples: “He appointed twelve . . . [to] be with him” (emphasis added).

It was extended time in Jesus’ presence—watching him, listening to his words, and asking him lots of questions—that transformed these very ordinary men. By being in the company of Jesus, they eventually took on his character (Acts 4:13).

It’s easy to fall into the activity trap. But ministry for Jesus apart from intimacy with him leads only to frustration and burnout. The most fruitful and fulfilling service always flows from our relationship with Jesus.

Reflection Question
How can you get to know what Jesus said and did—and imitate him today?

Jesus, remind me that before you ever commanded anyone to go, you first invited them to come and follow you. I always ask you to be with me; in truth, I need to be with you! Amen.

This blog post has been adapted from my book Following Jesus Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.


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