The Power of Multiplication

August 16, 2020
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I’ve never been considered a math genius, but I have studied mathematics, and I understand how powerful multiplication is. Let me give you an easy example. 2 + 3 is 5, right? But 2 x 3 is 6. A small increase, but growth, nonetheless. Adding is fine, but multiplication lends itself to improvements beyond merely adding. When we multiply, there is an increase. Jesus took five loaves of bread and multiplied them into enough food to feed at least five thousand people (Matt. 14:13–21)! That’s multiplication and an incredible increase!

Jesus made disciples. His followers made disciples (they multiplied the number of followers). He commanded all Christians to go and do the same (Matthew 28:18–29). He did not command the church to make disciples; He commanded believers to do it. Yes, you read that right. He commanded people like you and me to spread the Gospel message. Christianity is most potent when followers of Jesus, equipped with simple methods, spread the Gospel one person at a time. The work of the Holy Spirit to change people is an underground, grassroots, “of the people” movement. Francis Chan wrote, “We can’t overlook that discipleship was everyone’s [early church] job. The members of the early church took their responsibility very seriously. To them, the church wasn’t a corporation run by a CEO. Rather they compared the church to a body that functions properly only when every member is doing their part.”

I feel passionate that any disciple of Jesus needs to make disciples. So, why do we hesitate? If Jesus commanded us to “go and make disciples,” why do we find every excuse possible to avoid doing it?

Part of it is we lack the clarity and confidence we need to know what it means to be a disciple. Many have such a diminished approach to life—one that no one would want—and they know it. That’s why I wrote my book, “BE: The Way of Rest”. Its pages cast a light on what hinders our spiritual identity and will give you real power and truth to defeat those personal obstacles.

Part of it is not understanding the simplicity of going. In Matthew 28:19, the Greek word translated “go” can mean “as you are going.” It gives the strong impression that as we’re going out doing everyday things, we can share the Gospel through our own life. Only God can change hearts; we merely need to be obedient to His calling in our everyday life, to go and make disciples even though we have plenty to learn about Him ourselves.

Once we take that step to go and begin to develop relationships with people, we can start to make. We can start faithfully shepherding people from unbelief to maturity in the faith through the Holy Spirit’s guidance so that they may proceed to reproduce Jesus’s way in others. As we go forth to make, we are training people to be. Our making becomes their being in Christ. And, the process is repeated again and again as the Spirit leads faithful men and women in the mess (yes, it can be messy at times) of making disciples who make disciples.

What about you? Do you want to hide the beautiful Gospel of Jesus, or would you like to multiply? If one person disciples one person, and that second person disciples two people, can you celebrate the power of multiplication? Author and pastor Max Lucado wrote:

His kingdom needs you. The poor need you; the lonely need you; the church needs you … the cause of God needs you. You are part of “the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone” (Eph. 1:12 MSG). The kingdom needs you to discover and deploy your unique skill. Use it to make much out of God. Get the word out. God is with us; we are not alone.

Let’s work together to “get the word out” and share the beauty and the transformation only the Gospel can bring to our lives.

Jim Stern is the founder of TREXO, a consulting ministry that serves churches and ministries in multi-generational disciple-making.

Jim is a frequent speaker and the author of several books, including BE: The Way of Rest, the first in a series of three books devoted to his greatest passion in the Lord, and the crucial need for the church today to teach the importance of discipleship to the body and commission them to go out to disciple others.

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