Think how you learnt to do various tasks, like riding a bike. The reality is for many things we learn by doing - perhaps after a bit of a demo or advice we then have to get on with it. Jesus understood this: having prepared for ministry, announcing his Kingdom, and then demonstrating it, he then commissioned followers to go out and get on with it.
Yes in the preceding chapters there was some dialogue, some unpacking of the parables, but it was alot of demo and do. Furthermore he sent them not with the bare essentials but with no essentials! They were to depend on God alone - the trip was to be an active training ground in such basic trust.
When we go out to minister, we must do so from our basis in Christ. It is in His name and authority that we go. His power, not our acquired skill.
The apostles duly went, and then came back. See in v10 how they reported back and Jesus took them off for a de-brief. Not only did Jesus understand that we learn by doing, but he also understood the importance of then reflecting on it: 'reflective learning practice' in modern day jargon. His closest followers weren't just a crowd, they were disciples and thus learners - we are to be the same.
In Seeking to Worship, Seeking to Serve we wish to take God given life out to the city. For that to work we must learn as we go, i.e. go and do, and learn from it. Thats a good reason why we have key questions! The next step is to link that with doing, so we will also introduce key challenges. For this week:
[UP] Do you know the King more deeply by going about the King's business?
[Key challenge] Offer prayer directly for someone who is in need
Obviously be sensitive, don't force prayer on people and so on ... but take an opportunity to raise the bar - offering prayer to a friend who isn't a Christian. For some it will be enough to offer prayer and actually pray later. For others you need to be that bit bolder and offer to pray there and then!
Jesus didn't promise it would be easy. The next verses show how ministry can crowd in - the people came and found them, interrupting their discussions. The disciples recognised the very real and practical physical need that this presented.
And Jesus' answer? 'You feed them'!