The time which Jesus invested in these few disciples was so much more by comparison to that given to others that it can only be regarded as a deliberate strategy. He actually spent more time with His disciples than with everybody else in the world put together.
— Robert E. Coleman

Jesus had no formal schooling, no training program, no seminary, no outlined course work, or syllabus that applied to His followers.  His only methodology was to walk with them and have them observe what He said and did.  Disciples were not distinguished from others by being spiritual superstars with above average knowledge of the law or stricter conformity to it, but by simply being with Him.

It is interesting contrast to our performance based culture where the one who has the most knowledge of something or who can communicate it most clearly, is typically regarded as the expert and the one most likely followed.  The size of the audience determines the measure of success.  Our Christian faith and the example of Jesus’ leadership seems to point in almost the opposite direction.  The hallmarks of His leadership plan seemed to be proximity, relationship, and investment in a relative few.

The case could be made that even when He was speaking to the crowds that followed and required His attention, He was actually “speaking” to the also present disciples.  They were the focus, not the crowd or even himself.  The plan to change the world emanated from Him, but happened practically outside of Him.  It was necessary for Him to remove himself in order for those in the church to assume His leadership in this work.

While we couldn’t have articulated the concept as clearly as Coleman, this idea is at the heart of the OFB model for translating a business from owner led to team led.  The similarities are endless, but a few are:

  • focusing on a few leaders, not everyone
  • ordinary men/women, not superstars
  • transferring “ownership” to them (if only philosophically)
  • culling them out for special attention and time investment
  • stepping back to allow them to assume the mission

Very similar to the disciples movement forward of the early church, our desire to advance our OFB mission has been deeply opposed.  Like their journey, ours has been filled with casualties of war, hurt feelings, fits and starts, stressed behaviors, discouragements, frustrations, and disappointments.  It has brought out the worst in some of us, especially me, but like any mountain you climb, the greatest inspiration to motivate you the rest of the way to the summit, is the recognition of all the vertical feet already traversed.  Ground being taken is the very evidence and motivation to finish the rest of the race.  So it is with us.

Today, a small group of disciples will gather in a room to share good hearts, intentions, and ideas on how to move this inspiration of our Father forward.  Our quarry is a path forward on our “shared services” model, a cornerstone of how to come alongside small businesses, help them find success and margin, and practically change part of the world.  Join us in praying for clarity, humility, and understanding as we try to carry out the specific work He has given us to do through OFB.

  • What mission are you carrying out on the Father’s behalf?
  • Are you clear on the specific work He has appointed you to do?
  • Is it time to remove yourself and hand over a portion of leadership to those you have been leading?