The 12 apostles were with Jesus as He proclaimed and preached the kingdom of God in various cities. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, wife of Herod's steward, Susanna and many others healed of evil spirits and sicknesses contributed to their support (served) out of their private means (Lk. 8:1-3). People served with the gospel and healed contribute financially to your ministry.
Jesus spoke a parable of the sower who sowed seed with some falling beside road where birds ate it, other seed fell on rocky soil that withered away because it had no moisture, other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked it out and other seed fell into good soil and grew up and produced a crop 100 times as great. He who has ears to hear, let him hear (Lk. 8:4-8). Grab people's attention to hear God's word by telling compelling stories or asking provocative questions.
When disciples questioned Jesus what the parable might be, He said it had been granted to them to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God but others couldn't understand the parables. The seed is the word of God. Those beside the road heard and the devil removed the word from their heart so they couldn't believe and be saved. Those on rocky soil received the word with joy, but with no firm root and temporary belief, they fell away during temptation. The seed that fell among thorns was choked with worries, riches and pleasures of this life, which brought no fruit to maturity (intended perfection or goal). Those with seed in good soil heard the word with a honest and good heart (thoughts, reasonings, understanding, will, judgment, designs, affections, love, hatred, fear, joy, sorrow and anger since these things can actually affect a man's physical heart). They held word fast spiritually and bore fruit with endurance and hope by not surrendering to circumstances or succumbing under trial (Lk. 8:9-15). Impart thorough grounding from Scripture so people can bear fruit toward spiritual maturity.
No one covers a lamp but puts it on a lampstand so people can see the light since everything will become evident. Whoever has, more will be given and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have shall be taken from him. Jesus said His mothers and brothers hear the word of God and do it (Lk. 8:16-21). Let your light shine as you practice the Word of God.
Jesus and His disciples got into a boat during a great storm saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" Jesus rebuked the wind and the sea became calm. He said, "Where is your faith?" since they were fearful and amazed He commanded the winds and water to obey Him (Lk. 8:22-25). Provide accountability by asking whether you have faith in the storms of life.
A Gerasene demonic cried out in a loud voice to not torment him while acknowledging Jesus as Son of the Most High God. After asking the demon for his name, Jesus gave them permission to enter the swine. When people found the man delivered and in his right mind, they became frightened and asked Jesus to leave. He told the man to describe the great things God did for him (Lk. 8:26-39). Don't let worries, riches and pleasures choke you, but share great things God is doing in your life.
A woman with a hemorrhage for 12 years could not be healed by anyone. She touched the fringe of Jesus' cloak and her hemorrhage stopped immediately. After telling the people the reason why she touched Him and how she had been immediately healed, He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace" (Lk. 8:40-48). Those with faith and a good heart reach out to Jesus in hopeless situations and experience healing.
Jairus, a synagogue official, entreated Jesus to come to his dying daughter. After she died, someone told him his daughter died and not to trouble the Teacher anymore. Jesus heard this and said, "Do not be afraid, only believe, and she shall be made well." When they weeped over the daughter, He said, "Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep." Jesus raised her from the dead after saying, "Child, arise!" (Lk. 8:49-56). God imparts life to impossible and desperate situations.
Here are the key ingredients in establishing a transforming discipleship and mentoring ministry:
1. Trust God to provide financially through those you serve with the Gospel
2. Use compelling stories and provocative questions to grab peoples' attention so they listen to God's word
3. Ground people in the Bible so they grow toward spiritual maturity in the likeness of Christ
4. Teach God's word so people practice and do it
5. Provide accountability by having mentors ask whether you exercise faith in a tough circumstance
6. Have individuals share great things God is doing in their lives
7. Have individuals share the reasons why and how they came to Jesus for healing and freedom in hopeless situations
8. Have individuals share how Jesus imparted life in an impossible or desperate situation
Become part of a small group where you can practice the above eight dynamics. Find a person or mentor where you can encourage each other to practice these dynamics. If you are a church leader, devise a plan where these principles can be embedded in your small group discipleship and mentoring ministry.