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Following Jesus’ Example: Empowering Leaders in Global Missions, by Victor H. Cuartas

Jesus sent the disciples forth to do the work. On this occasion, the verb “sent out” in Greek is apostello that means: (1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed; or (2) to send away, dismiss (Mark 3:14b; 12a). Jesus “began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits” (Mark 6:7b, NKJV, emphasis added). Jesus’ strategy to fulfill His mission was to send His disciples in pairs. Jesus’ training of the twelve had by now come to the point that He could send them out to spread His teaching.

Jesus continued to work in the villages, but the influence of His disciples could reproduce His ministry. The fact that Mark 6:7a says that Jesus “began to send them forth” (KJV) means only that he had not done this before. “Jesus sent the Twelve Apostles on a brief missionary tour of Galilee, since He could not reach all the hundreds of towns and villages.”10 Jesus felt at that time that His disciples were prepared to go out to fulfill His mission.

Jesus empowered his disciples for the mission. The verb “empowered” in Greek is exousia, which means: (1) the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either pos­sesses or exercises, or (2) the power of authority (influence) and of right (Mark 3:15a; 6:7b). The disciples received the divine impartation from the Lord. Even though the disciples were trained for the mission, they still had to receive the power from their Master to be effective in their ministry.

Believers are sent every day everywhere. God is looking for people who are available to respond to His call. The power is in the obedience, and it is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22). One needs to start in Jerusalem, in our own neighborhood, then reaching out to Judea, Samaria, including the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The bottom line is obedience and that is one of the biggest challenges for many believers today. Thus, followers of Christ need to be intentional in hearing God’s voice. Furthermore, delayed obedience is also disobedience, and there are billions of people that still need to hear the message salvation.

God can use difficult times to bring churches and denominations together in prayer, forgiveness and fasting.

One of the most powerful principles that we find in the Scriptures is the principle of unity. Unity is a promise from God. There are great opportunities today for partnership and collaboration. This process needs to be intentional. The consequences of not walking in unity will ultimately affect the very people that need to be reached with the Gospel. This unity needs to start in each of us. It involves denominations, local churches, missionary agencies and seminaries. This is not optional. If we really want to expand God’s kingdom and reach the unreached people groups, we must find different ways to work together for God’s glory.

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Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Winter 2013

About the Author: Victor H. Cuartas, D.Min. (Regent University), has been involved in pastoral ministry and church planting for nearly twenty years. He is Assistant Professor of Practical Ministry and Global Missions at Regent University in Virginia. Victor serves as director of research for COMHINA, a missionary movement that mobilizes Hispanics in the United States and Canada for ministry to unreached people groups. He is the author of Empowering Hispanic Leaders: An Online Model (Church Starting Network, 2009) and Capacitando Líderes Hispanos: Un Modelo En Línea (Wipf & Stock, 2010). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Oxford, U.K. through Middlesex University & Oxford Center for Mission Studies.

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