1 + 1 = 3
Then he [Jesus] went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. Mark 6:6b-7
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Whenever two people gather or meet together to be disciples, to do the ministry and mission of the church, to laugh and talk with one another in friendship, to do anything together in the name of Jesus the Christ, there are always three present, with Jesus as the third person in the partnership. Jesus understood, taught, and demonstrated his belief that we work better by working together in community, in pairs, in a small group, even in larger gatherings.
Yes, we can work on our own and there are some things we can only do alone. However, all too often, we think we must do things on our own. We don’t share and collaborate on tasks very easily. We become “Lone(ly) Rangers.” How often have you (as I have done) begrudged that you are the only one working on a project and no one is helping out? After braving through this way of behaving all too often, I finally realized that I wasn’t inviting or including others into the project – in conceiving and planning it, in strategizing or even in working out the details. I thought others would join in if they wanted to and I thought I would be imposing on them if I asked for their help. How wrong I was.
Jesus sent his disciples out to bring healing and hope to others, in pairs – two by two. He understood what it took me a long time to learn – sharing leadership, discipleship, ministry (or anything we do) with others means we can rely on and build upon our different skills and perspectives and knowledge. When we work together in our Christian discipleship, ministry, and mission, one plus one always equals three. It’s a holy mathematical formula. The ministry we engage in with others, multiplies exponentially, because God in Christ is present, infusing and inspiring our ministry with Spirit and energy, with creativity and strategy, with grace and wisdom.
Creator God, Guide us in our discipling and ministry. Help us to hear your call and to find the people you call to be in collaborative partnership with us. Send us to be your disciples, bringing healing and hope in our communities and throughout the world. With your Spirit, as we follow the example of Jesus, lead us into transformational ministries of radical inclusion and racial justice in every aspect of our ministry. Alleluia. Amen.