More on "The Insider":
Chapter 3-- "purposefully invest deeply in a few individuals"
If we are not accurately seeing the kingdom of God at work (chapter 2) then we are probably not putting our efforts in the right areas.
Jesus used many agricultural stories and metaphors because they accurately portray how the kingdom of God grows and multiplies. Healthy crops are grown organically: seeds planted, bearing fruit that produce more seeds. It takes time to grow healthy fruit that matures and then reproduces more healthy fruit. But this is the way of the Kingdom... not large programs promising instant results.
So what about the first few chapters of Acts? Why were so many people harvested at one time? Remember when Jesus told his disciples, “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for?” The church’s birth, and large initial harvest, was the result of hundreds of years of sowing into the Jewish people that came to one large time of harvest. But was this the norm?
Paul never saw a duplication of that first response in Jerusalem! When we examine the results of Paul’s ministry carefully, we observe that he usuall left a small foundation of people consisting of a few households. Sometimes, very few…
The primary means of [Christianity’s] growth was through the united and motivated efforts of the growing numbers of Christian believers, who invited their friends, relatives and neighbors to share the “good news.”
The bottom line from chapter three is the challenge to “purposefully invest deeply in a few individuals, with the expectation that God will, in time, multiply that investment.
This "upside down" approach to ministry challenges my need for instant gratification and personal "success." But the biblical sense of it is there!