I’m studying Matthew for the weekend’s service.  The
passage that talks about the calling of the twelve.  It fascinates me how
Jesus chose his followers.  Some of you may know that I worked as a small
groups pastor at two mega churches, one in Africa the other in America.
During that time I found out that a small group pastor basically serves as a
spiritual cupid for other people.
I would regularly get phone calls like this :

"Hey I’m ______.  My family just moved into town, we have children
of five, nine, and twelve.  My wife and I love to mountain bike and camp
and we’re in our early fourties.  Would you please connect me with people
just like us?

Now if you receive one of these calls per day then it’s probably palatable but
think twenty!  People would phone and basically say that they would like
to be in groups with people who were just like them (they might as well just
stayed home and talked to themselves).  There’s this classic, and overused
scene of someone who is really lonely playing chess against himself.
That’s what these people wanted.  Themselves through someone else. 

After a few years doing this I realized that most of these precious people
lacked the basic skills of friendship.  I also contemplated the fact that growth is optimized in environments of diversity.  People grow when they’re challenged by people who are not like them.

I contemplated on this subject because hidden in the list of Jesus’ disciples we find immense diversity!  Matthew who was in bed with the Roman goverment, share a small group with Simon – a terrorist, who wanted to bomb and kill everything Roman.  I wonder how their chess match went?