In the last blog we emphasized the importance of delegation. This gives opportunity for men to step up and do something for Jesus. As a missionary, I believe that this is very important. It is a tragic thing if a church on the mission field is led only by Americans. God uses His people, and if churches are going to grow and continue, nationals must be trained to continue the work. That means that they must be given opportunities to serve (delegate responsibility) in order to grow. However, delegation is only one half of giving opportunities to serve. It is important that as men are given the opportunity to serve, that they are also given time of assessment to change what needs to be changed, adjust things that are not working, and to continue in things that are. Jesus did this very thing with His disciples. He sent them out with an assignment alongside of instruction and when they returned Jesus took them apart for a time of assessment. Here is a small portion of chapter seven of The Master Plan of Evangelism.
Jesus made it a point to meet with his disciples following their tours of service to hear their reports and to share with them the blessedness of his ministry in doing the same thing. In this sense, one might say that his teaching rotated between instruction and assignment. What time he was with them, he was helping them to understand the reason for some previous action or getting them ready for some new experience. His questions, illustrations, warnings, and admonitions were calculated to bring out those things that they needed to know in order to fulfill his work, which was the evangelization of the world.
Accordingly, not long after the Twelve were sent out, they gathered themselves “together with Jesus” to tell “what things they had done” (Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10). It would appear from the Bible that this reunion was prearranged, and hence, the initial solo excursion of the disciples was merely a field assignment as they continued their training with the Master.
The regrouping of the disciples following their evangelistic tour, of course, provided them some needed rest in body and soul. As to how long the disciples had been out, the Scripture does not say. Perhaps a few days, even a week. The time element here is not the important thing. What does matter though, as the record shows, is that after the disciples were sent out to work, they were expected to share their experiences later with the group.
Coleman, R. E. (2006). The master plan of evangelism (pp. 81–82). Grand Rapids, MI: Revell.