Afterward Jesus found him in the temple
~ John 5:14a
For many in ministry the idea of serving the multitude is either exhilarating or paralyzing. We get excited about serving and meeting the needs of the masses or we find ourselves overwhelmed at the task in front of us, wondering where do we even begin.
I’ve recently been reminded that the crowds are made up of individuals, individuals who have specific needs, longings, and wants. Individuals who need personal attention, conversations, and time. True ministry begins in the small, meeting with the individuals in order to serve the crowds.
Many times while Jesus was walking the earth we see Him going to the individual, in order to connect with them personally, to bring them into the Story He was writing. Yes, there were times we met the needs of the crowds, such as when He fed the five thousand in John 5, or the four thousand in Matthew 15.
But how many times do we see Jesus going to the individual, in order to minister to them. In John 4, we see Jesus going through Samaria, in order meet with a woman at the well, that no one else would go to. In John 5, we see Jesus going to the pool of Bethesda, where we are told there was a multitude of invalids, and yet Jesus went to one, an individual and asked him if he wished to be headed. Once healed the man is thrown out of the synagogue, and we see that Jesus seeks him out, individually again, to restore him and welcome him into His Story. We could look into many more scenarios, such as Jesus calling His disciples, individually, etc.
Whether we find ourselves, leading churches, home groups, Sunday School classes, or meeting with a group of friends for discipleship, lets remember that each group is made up of individuals. Individuals whom are each unique, with different needs and wants. Let us not be so excited about reaching the masses that we neglect the individuals; nor be so overwhelmed by the crowds that we never seek to get to know the individuals. We are where we are because at one time, the Lord used someone to reach an individual, us. Let us also go to the individuals.