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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Investing in God’s people from life to life

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.


At various times Jesus sent people out for apostolic ministry.  An apostle is literally a ‘sent out’ one.  Here we look at the instructions given in Matthew 10 to the apostles.  In Luke 10 there are similar instructions given to the 72.

All ministry holds a balance of watching over the ones entrusted to us (pastoral ministry) and reaching out to those who are beyond (apostolic ministry).  Each has a different emphasis and it can be a challenge for one person to balance the two.

Bible Zone

Jesus sent out the disciples with instructions.  We explore those instructions found in Matthew 10 here.

Scope of Ministry

Jesus had a specific scope to His ministry, which we see in Matthew 15:24  “24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

  1. What limits were set on the 12 as they were sent out?
  2. What target was given to the 12?
  3. How did this compare with the scope of Jesus’ ministry?
  4. What are the benefits of a limited scope to ministry?

Matthew 10:m24  Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. ..”

Later the scope of ministry was broadened.  The point here is not that the scope of all ministry is limited to the lost sheep of Israel, but that God does limit scope and we need to be attentive to our initial call. - Is there a scope to the call He as given you?

Ministry to give

In our ministry we giving what we have received or already been a part of.  It is worth reflecting on what God has already given us.

  1. What actions of ministry were the Disciples told to give?
  2. What was the basis on which they were to do these things?
  3. What has God given to you that you could give to others?

Matthew 10:7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Ready to receive

  1. What is the apostle not to take?  On what basis?
  2. What benefit would these be to the apostle if they were taken?
  3. Who is the apostle working for?
  4. What do you need to leave behind for your ministry?
  5. What would it mean for you to receive your keep in ministry?

Matthew 10: 9 Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

A worthy base

  1. What base of operation was selected?  What happens when a mistake is made?
  2. What base of operation might you need for ministry?
  3. How might you tell if peace rests or fails to rest?

Matthew 10: search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.

In case of rejection

  1. What are the indications of rejection?  What happens to rejecters?
  2. What attitude is the apostle to have towards the ones who are met?
  3. If the apostle seems to fail, how much blame is the Lord assigning to the apostle?
  4. How could you be both welcoming to people, and be as shrewd as a snake?

Matthew 1014 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Witness to unreachable

 The apostles were to be brought to those normally beyond their social circle.

  1. Before whom will God allow His apostles to be brought?  With what intent?

 Matthew 10: 17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.

Words Given

  1. What emotions might distract the one arrested?  Why worry over words?
  2. The apostle is promised words.  How might this influence the apostles state of mind in the lead up to his defence?

Matthew 10: 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Courage and Loyalty

  1. What are the expectations of loyalty and love from God’s people?
  2. What other loyalties are to be surrendered in favour of the Lord?
  3. How might you be called upon to count the cost?

Matthew 10:  32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  ...

 37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Rewards of ministry

  1. What are the conditions for a reward from the Lord?
  2. How can you participate in the ministry of others?
  3. How can you allow others to participate in your ministry?

Matthew 10:  40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."