The seed of multiplication is embedded in everything God has created.
This is a statement a former colleague once told me. It is a strong statement. Read it again and let it sit there for a minute. The seed of multiplication is embedded in everything God has created.
From the first pages of the Bible, we are told of God’s plan for multiplication. Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful and multiply. After they sin and are removed from the garden, God repeats his plan to have them be fruitful and multiply. After the flood, God tells Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply.
This theme can be tracked across the Old Testament as Israel multiplies. Then Jesus arrives and trains twelve men who will be the ones used for the multiplication of the church. The Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28 is rooted in the concept of multiplication. Paul tells Timothy to pass the baton of ministry to faithful men who will continue the movement. It all leads to Revelation 7 in that picture of a multitude so large that no one could count the people from all tribes, peoples, and languages worshipping the risen Christ.
My experience is that the church in North America has drifted from multiplying. The seed is embedded in the church, but we have ignored it. It may be an unfair stereotype, but it is based on my experience of pastoring for 18 years before serving as a missionary for the past eight years. I have some ideas of what caused this, but it does not matter. What matters is the church getting back to the heart of the Great Commission and making disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Multiplication.
Our EveryEthne mission is to mobilize the church. One way in which we mobilize local churches is by helping them uncover the seed of multiplication embedded in them as a church being built by Jesus. This is what we call M3: Multiplying Disciples, Leaders, & Churches.
How is your church doing in reaching lost people with the gospel? I pray baptisms are the normal rhythm of your church. It may not surprise you that statistics reveal that evangelism is not regularly happening in churches across North America.
The last words of Jesus to His followers on the mountain were to remind them that they would be His witnesses. He did not give an option. I contend that it should not be an option today either. Embracing the mission Christ has given us is the calling of every follower of Jesus. There are no exceptions.
This is the Great Commission. Jesus tells us to “make disciples.” This is helping someone who is far from God come to understand the gospel and then teach them to do all Christ commanded. It is more than a bible study. It is more than curriculum. It is life on life helping someone become a disciple and make more disciples.
This is one way in which our team is finding traction in helping the North American church.
It is not an exaggeration that every week I hear from pastors or churches about the lack of leaders in their church. Developing and multiplying leaders is not something that just happens. It is something that takes work. It takes intentionality. It takes a plan. It takes much prayer.
I love baseball. There are few things better than a good baseball game. At the pro level, major league franchises always fight the tension between developing their talent or signing free agents. The church should feel that tension as well. Our desire for churches is to develop a developing farm system so they do not have to rely upon free agency for their church. You get the illustration. What would it be like if your church was intentionally moving people through a system that equips them at different levels for different leadership capabilities?
Our team loves helping with this.
I believe if a church is consistent in multiplying disciples and leaders, church planting will happen. It is the natural outcome. Our team strategy is to help churches plant churches. We desire to help churches become healthy by the multiplication of disciples and leaders so that the next natural step is to multiply the church.
Is the seed of multiplication evident in your church? If so, we would love to hear how. If not, we would love to help you uncover it for the glory of Christ and His church!