“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”—Mark 3:13-15, NIV
When my pastor Noel Schoonmaker preached on this passage about Jesus calling the disciples, he pointed out, “This roster did not have a single all-star on it.” They were picked not because of who they were but because of whom they were called to serve. Despite their limitations, Jesus selected this diverse and sometimes clueless group to be in the vanguard of the Kingdom of God.
Noel also emphasized the complementary nature of the relationship to which these men were called. They were called to be with Christ and to be his disciples, but they were also called to be on mission for Christ and be apostles or “sent ones.” What they learned from Jesus was not to be kept to themselves but shared with others.
This is a pattern that contemporary disciples often forget. We gather to learn, worship, and encourage one another, but then we are to go out into world and carry the message of Christ wherever we happen to be during the week.
This is one of those “both/and” situations we find often in the scriptures. Unless both actions are taken—being gathered and being scattered—something is missing. When I was campus minister at Mississippi State University, we adopted this mission phrase: “To know Him and to make Him known.” This is what the church is all about.