We see all throughout the Gospels (and clearly in Luke 6:12-19) that Jesus lived-out His life in three dimensions: UP with his Father, IN with His followers, and OUT with the hurting world around him. After spending three years with Jesus, we see that His first disciples lived this way as well (Acts 1-2), and we also see that the church in Antioch which included the Apostle Paul lived this way too (Acts 13:1-4). We believe that this is how all those who desire to be disciples of Jesus should live in order to experience fruitfulness in ministry, fruitfulness in relationships with others, and fruitfulness with God.
UP: Jesus did nothing apart from his Father. He said in John 5:19, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. Therefore, Jesus spent much of His time in prayer, listening to His Father.
IN: Jesus called a group of people to be His people, His community of faith, His family. For three years, these disciples lived with Him, learned from Him, imitated Him, and encouraged one another.
OUT: Jesus went on mission with His disciples to proclaim the Good News, challenge injustice, teach, heal the sick, call for repentance, and reveal the love of the Father to the world.
If we are going to follow Jesus in the way He lived His life, then we’ll need to intentionally imitate Him in all three dimensions. We must make a commitment to live a balanced life of Up, In, and Out. When one dimension is lacking, our life in Christ will be out of balance – like a 3-legged stool with one leg shorter than the others. Our intention should be to live all three dimensions in our lives just like Jesus did. When we do, we will experience the life that Jesus calls us to live, and we’ll experience fruitfulness in our disciple-making efforts too!