ONEFAMILY Outreach

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ONEFamily Outreach exists to "Connect Kids to Community and Communities to Kids." Have you considered having a mission week for your church? This is one of my favorite "in-depth" ways of reaching out with the Great News of Jesus Christ. Activities can include:

  • Interactive and participative praise concerts for children, youth, and families;
  • Morning staff studies on "Authentic Leadership" and "Building a Culture of Intentional Courtesy"
  • Brown-Bag Luncheon Studies for your community focusing on our scriptural call to justice;
  • In-service for your volunteers or teachers on reaching today's youth and families with the vibrant, living, message of Jesus Christ;
  • Evening parent seminars based upon two of Jerry's recent books: "Significant Conversations: Helping Young People Live Meaningful Lives," and "The Deepest Longing of Young People; Loving Without Conditions."
  • Local networking with other area groups (secular or faith-based) regarding prevention and intervention strategies for high-risk and incarcerated youth;
  • Humorous and thought-provoking school assemblies (secular or religious, elementary through high school).

ONEFamily Outreach is primarily supported by your donations and by trainings, workshops, retreats and concerts.


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To increase faith, increase service

Luke 17:5-10

Proper 22c

Luke 17:5-10

[Lk 17:5] The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” [6] And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.


[7] “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? [8] “But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? [9] “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? [10] “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” (NAS)

Luke 17:5-6

[Lk 17:5] The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” [6] And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.”

“If you had faith...”

Hanging around Jesus in his day would not be easy – and we should not consider it easy today.  Here, the disciples seem to make an innocent request, a legitimate request; “Increase our faith!”


However, Jesus’ response is anything but civil; “If you had faith...”


Why the curt response!  Matthew gives us a fuller insight to the background of this story; he tells us what went on before the confrontational statements that fill this chapter.  Here is what prompted the discussion on that day according Matthew:

Matthew 18:1

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
It is as though Jesus were saying; “If you understood anything I have been saying at all, you wouldn’t be asking such questions.”


In Matthew 18, Jesus sets a child on his lap and tells the disciples that they are not even close to the depth of that little one’s unassuming faith.


The disciples have a presumption of faith but in their arrogance they prove themselves lacking.  It is as impossible for the arrogant to be faithful as it is for a mulberry tree to, “be uprooted and be planted in the sea.”


Faith follows humility but is precluded by arrogance.  If I had faith I wouldn’t worry about my greatness or my place in the kingdom.  If I had faith; I would forget positions and stature and instead, start serving.  “If I had faith...”

Luke 17:7-10

[7] “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? [8] “But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? [9] “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? [10] “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” (NAS)


Prepare something for me to eat.”
For anyone else it might seem odd; but for Jesus, it is standard for him to take a question or a request and respond in such a way that the answer seems (at first glance) unrelated.  The request – indeed the command – given by the disciples is: “Increase our faith.”


After Jesus basically says, “You have to have something in order to increase it,” he then goes on to talk about a servant’s proper role: “Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink?”


Though seemingly unrelated, we know that is not the case.  In essence, Jesus is telling the disciples – who were clambering for the best seat – that the true servant doesn’t even deserve a seat and would never ask for one.  To increase faith then, one needs to drop the pretense of positional authority and seek to serve sincerely.
To increase faith, we increase service.


Jesus puts it like this; “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?”
According to Matthew, the disciples were asking for rewards while Jesus was stating to them that service was their reward and not only their reward but also their duty.  What then is the attitude which we should strive for if we are to be called a follower of Christ?  It is summed up in this verse; “We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.”

Do I understand this?  Do I see my service as enough reward or am I still comparing my works to others!  Do I understand the connection between faith and service?  In light of this reading, can I begin to understand what the disciples were yet to comprehend; that the proper request is not, “Increase my faith,” but, “Increase my service (and my faith will follow).”

Copyright Notice

Copyright © 2007 Jerry Goebel. All Rights Reserved.  This study may be freely distributed, as long as it bears the following attribution: Source: Jerry Goebel: 2007 © http://onefamilyoutreach.com.

Scripture Quotations noted from NASB are from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION of the bible. Copyright © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

The New Testament Greek Lexicon based on Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary plus others; this is keyed to the large Kittel and the “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.” These files are public domain.

The Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon is Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Lexicon; this is keyed to the “Theological Word Book of the Old Testament.” These files are considered public domain.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries. Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved. (www.Lockman.org)

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