This work in small numbers is as simple as when the first two humans cooperated in a task for the common Good.
“Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
For the common Good – “there are different kinds of service .. there are different ways of working, but the same God works all things in all people. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by the same Spirit .. great faith .. gifts of healing .. miracles .. distinguishing of spirits .. languages .. teachers .. administration .. simple helping” (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12).
One example from recent history regarding full-time mentoring of full-time students in smallest groups is the example of Demos Shakarian who founded Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. It is widely known that Shakarian held that it is more efficient for just one full-time mentor to train just one full-time worker in business in the world to integrate full-time obedience in the Holy Spirit than it is to add 100 new members to pews of churches. As noted in other posts here, there are good measurements in science to support this conviction of Shakarian about the greater efficiency of training just one full-time disciple for full-time obedience to the Holy Spirit in the world – see the studies reported at, “BF774 – Degrees of Influence – God’s Big Book of ‘Numbers.” To quote that page, “the Book of Numbers was a census for going to war. Many were counted for war. Very few showed up.” Most of those with their names in the Book of Numbers (big, big, big numbers) died in the wilderness with their names on the books.
Ratio of Trainers to Students. The one-to-one full-time mentorship example of Demos Shakarian (above) means that the focus stays on small numbers in mentoring and learning. Beyond this one-to-one model, Jesus too taught that a small number of two or three in prayer (Matthew 18:20) have authority to pray and see effects on earth. Other trainers here and on our parallel fora limit their number of students to just two or three full-time students at a time. Some trainers take on groups of 8-12 students when hands-on training in the field fits well with this number. For more on why this kind of commitment to small numbers in corps can be most efficient — “BF774 – Degrees of Influence – God’s Big Book of ‘Numbers.”
The language about Armies of Davids in Revolution Commitments is exemplary. Each individual has his or her favorite phrases and actions to define full-time and effective service. The following sources are given only as points of reference and for double checking as mere examples to push us toward this limit – “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone,” (Romans 12:18, Christian Standard Bible). As far as possible see what Peace lies within you to contemplate these two recent voices about small groups: 1) a vision and practice advocated by economic science and law professor, Glenn Reynolds, “An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths;'” and with David as an example of the smallest force (blended into armies of Davids) against the biggest giants, and blended together with, 2) a statistical study of real-life commitments of Christians to measure depth of commitments, as reported by George Barna in his book, “Revolution” – a call for more full-time commitments and fewer lukewarm, mediocre, compromised commitments in our current Golden Calf idolatry of big numbers (after all, it was the big numbers who contributed gold to forge the Golden Calf), and with Barna saying that ‘revolution’ commitments (full-time commitments) will happen in the future more and more with small numbers joining in smallest groups.
These two sources merge in demanding full-time and ethical practices in all our work. These commitments are practical revolutions against – “Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths” (Glenn Reynolds’ book). In the case of Barna’s report in Revolution, it calls for a revolution against our own mediocre, lukewarm, self-serving commitments (sometimes lying about our full commitments as did Ananias and Sapphira in, “Struck Dead – Acts 5:1-11“).
These two sources are no substitute for hearing and obeying the Holy Spirit in all our work.
No matter our favorite phrases and actions to define serving with 100% commitment, any army of Davids up against Goliaths in Revolution commitments will face current Goliaths – because mid-mission, conditions, challenges, and – Goliaths – change.
Only full-time commitments for the common good as revolution commitments will overcome all ~ ‘Other Goliaths.’
It is an amazing thing to make the claim and to mean it – “We have left everything to follow you!” (Mark 10:28).
It is impossible without the Holy Spirit – “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
(back to, Purpose ~ Mission Impossible)
(forward to, Definition of Impossible Missions ~ And Why We Do Them)