Yesterday, we looked at the manner in which Jesus invested in making disciples rather than in building an empire. We saw that by befriending and mentoring a group of people, His influence was replicated in ways that wouldn’t have been possible had He focused solely on His own glory. Interestingly, I believe one of the greatest case studies for these principles in modern-day Christianity is a man named Chuck Smith. Most of us have heard of him, but he was the founder of Calvary Chapel, which started here in Orange County and now has influence all over the world. Surprisingly, when I hear his name, I recognize it, but I’m not bombarded by images of his “larger than life” personality nor do I envision a building or a book. In fact, I really don’t know much about him as a person, but I know that I’ve been impacted by his legacy. This is because, rather than focusing on promotion and image, Chuck Smith simply emphasised creating and replicating a culture of discipleship. The “Jesus movement” of the 1970’s and 80’s expanded to include thousands of Calvary Chapel churches all over the world, and while you may not agree with everything they do or stand for, it’s hard to deny the weight of their outreach. In fact, they are positive proof of what can happen when someone is guided by a people-first philosophy that’s focused on replication rather than self-glorification.
My friend, when it comes to doing the Lord’s work, lay down your need to be the brightest and best, and simply focus on making disciples. In your relationships with people, foster a culture of openness, safety, and growth, and let the Holy Spirit reveal His multiplying power through your shared vision. Invite the Lord to transform you from glory to glory, become a vessel of His encouragement, and there’s no telling how the world will change, both now and for future generations!