Who’s in Your Inner Circle?

Jesus taught in front of thousands of people throughout his lifetime. Wherever he went, huge crowds followed him (Mark 5:24, Mark 10:1, Matthew 4:25, Matthew 8:1, Matthew 14:13).

But not everyone that Jesus taught continued to follow him. Not everyone who followed him became his disciple. And even within his disciples, Jesus had an inner circle—the ones he invested in the most (Mark 9:2–3).

In The Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert E. Coleman examines Jesus’ strategy:

Jesus was not trying to impress the crowd, but to usher in a kingdom. This meant that he needed people who could lead the multitudes. What good would it have been for his ultimate objective to arouse the masses to follow him if these people had no subsequent supervision or instruction in the Way? It had been demonstrated on numerous occasions that the crowd was an easy prey to false gods when left without proper care. . . .Thus, before the world could ever be permanently helped, people would have to be raised up who could lead the multitudes in the things of God.

As humans, we can’t invest the same amount of energy into our entire church that we invest into our small groups, families, mentors, or disciples. That doesn’t mean we neglect our church, it just means that the way we pour into the 100, 1,000, or 10,000 people that we learn and grow alongside looks very different than the way we pour into those who are closest to us.

Our lives naturally imitate Jesus’ circles of intimacy, because we are physical beings bound by physical constraints—we don’t have all the time in the world, and we can’t be everywhere at once.

We choose who to spend the most time with and who we invest most of our lives into.

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Written by
Ryan Nelson

Ryan Nelson is a writer for OverviewBible, where he uses Logos to explore the characters, groups, places, and books of the Bible. He has served in a variety of volunteer ministry positions, primarily through Young Life.

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Written by Ryan Nelson
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