"He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." Luke 9:2

It was important that the disciples learn how to conduct their ministries. Jesus didn't just send them out to do a job without giving them specific training in how to do that job.


       In God the Father's plan for Jesus, it seems to me to be a key that He was born into the home of a tradesman. I've talked to a lot of tradesmen. They understand apprenticing. They realize how a skill is transferred from one person to another. They realize that it is a slow, careful process.
       When Joseph was making a carpenter out of his son, that son was learning the steps by which to impart skills to others. My Dad was a tradesman, a machinist. He was also a fisherman. When I was a youngster, my Dad apprenticed me in the art--the skill--of fishing. But first, he taught me how to make go-getters. A go-getter is a lure that is especially appealing to crappies, a bluegill type of freshwater fish. Here are the steps:

He did it.
My Dad manufactured the lures in our garage.

He did it and I watched.
I went out into the garage and watched him take expended .22 shell casings and put them in the vice. He then drilled a small hole through the casing, near the base. Then to provide an eye to tie fishing line to, he put a small cotter pin through the hole, prying the ends around the casing to lock it in place. Then he put red fingernail polish down inside the casing. He then tied a long-shaft hook and a bundle of white feathers together and stuck them down the casing into the polish, which then dried. Finally he painted half the outside of the casing with more red polish.

He did it and I helped.
He let me place the casings in the vice. He let me insert the drill bit into the drill and tighten it. He let me hand him new casings when he was done with the old ones. He let me cut the feathers to the right length and hand them with the hook to him in preparation for tying. He let me paint some casings on my own.

I did it and he helped.
He put his hands on mine as I held the drill and tried to drill the holes. He let me take the pliers and insert the cotter pin through the hole, correcting me when I inserted it crooked. He helped me tie the hook and feathers together, showing me how tightly to wrap the tie-line around them. He held my hands in his as I poured the polish into the casing, showing me by the pressure of his hands when I had poured enough. He helped me design the final coating of polish on the outside of the casing.

I did it and he watched.
He let me drill the holes when he thought I could hold the drill steady. He watched me push the cotter pin through the hole.He let me tie the hook and the feathers together, being sure that the tie was tight and secure. He let me pour the red fingernail polish down into the casing. He let me insert the hook-and-feathers into the casing, cementing them in the base with the polish.

I did it and he mentored me as needed.
From that point on, in preparation for a fishing trip, I could make go-getters when he was at work. He inspected them when he got home, offering correction or commendation as appropriate.

       When we got to Rodriguez Lake in Baja California, I learned how to fish, using those go-getters, in the same six-step process. I learned how to catch many crappies.
       This is how skill is transmitted.
       What do you know how to do? Don't just think of "spiritual" things. What skills have been transmitted to you--business skills, construction skills, artistic or creative skills, fabricating skills, relational skills, selling skills, driving-cooking-instrument playing-instrument using-electrical-sewing-painting-gardening skills? What have you taught yourself how to do? Listen now: any legitimate skill you can teach another will benefit the world and the kingdom of God.
       Even if the skill you transmit has nothing to do with spiritual things, the process of apprenticing another will itself be used by God to form him as a disciple. Jesus could teach his followers how to catch men because he had been taught by his father how to make plows. Discipleship slides laterally quite easily. If you've been apprenticed in one skill, you'll find it easier to be apprenticed in others.
       Then, do you know any spiritual skills? Have you learned something about how to collaborate with God and man for the kingdom's benefit? In my case, my range of skills is pretty narrow. I know how to put on conferences in which the leadership listens effectively to God, follows His leads, builds unified teams, takes appropriate action, sees the power of God released, apprentices people in several levels of skill (such as one-on-one ministry, master-apprenticing, teaching, etc.), responds effectively to the unforeseen (either from people or the Spirit or from the devil), keeps one's balance, gives the glory to God, and gets out. I don't know a lot, but I know how to do that. So I do it with vigor. I've led conferences in which I've taught and ministered in over 800 sessions, I've discipled more than 1000 team members in various levels of skill, I've seen thousands healed of various physical and emotional ailments, and God has used me to build up leadership. You wanna learn how to do conferences, come and see me.
       How did I learn how to lead conferences? For a year, I followed John Wimber around while he did conferences. I went with him on four weekends and a two-week event. I watched what he did and I helped as best I could. In that year I was given enough understanding of the skill of conference-leading that I could go out and do conferences myself. The Lord took me by the hand and guided me into conferences which I was "up for." As I did them, I learned more. Pretty soon, I could apprentice others. Since that year, I've done conferences for over a decade.
       Sometime get out your Bible and compare how Jesus raised Jairus' daughter from the dead (Matthew 9) and how Peter--who was present in Jairus' house--raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9). As you compare them, ask yourself: what did Jesus do? and what did Peter do? Compare their behaviors. Even in something so monumental as raising the dead, there are skills to be learned. Hello? Peter wasn't operating in a vacuum. He simply mimicked what he had seen Jesus do. It worked for Jesus. And it worked for Peter.