THINKING ABOUT MULTIPLICATION
This Sunday we began looking at the book of Titus, in a series we’re calling “Blueprint for Church Multiplication.”
You might be thinking: “Wait, wow, really?”
(That's basically the response I had when we learned about a week ago that my wife is pregnant - with twins! Lord-willing, they'll be joining us around New Year. So, yes, I've been thinking about multiplication lately!)
I believe multiplication is baked into the recipe of what it means to be a Jesus-focused, Bible-centered, Spirit-filled, gospel-preaching church. There’s no other way to slice it– multiplying disciples is what the Great Commission is all about.
The book of Titus gives us a clear path forward on the “how-to’s” of multiplication, based on Paul’s directions to his trainee, Titus, as they sought to establish churches across the island of Crete. (You can hear my audio introduction to this series here)
Of course, the Great Commission is the same for us - to keep sharing the gospel, to keep establishing churches, to keep extending the reach of God's kingdom. And we have reasons to be encouraged! Across the world, there are fantastic movements of multiplying Christians – from the villages of South Asia to the high-rise cities of China, from the Amazon jungle to the African plains. God’s church is exponentially increasing in our generation, and I believe He wants all of us – you and me – to play a part in the unfolding story.
That’s what it means to live on mission, to be a church on mission.
So, would God have us multiply His kingdom here, in North America, and even in Berrien County?
As Jesus told his distracted disciples in John 4: “Wake up and look around! The fields are ripe for harvest!” It’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, to think that “no one will listen” or to simply neglect the job our Lord entrusted to us. But that kind of thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, in fact, I think church math works a little like this:
“As we lose vision for multiplication,
addition slows down, subtraction speeds up,
and division increases.”
That’s not a road we want to travel!
So what does it mean to have a multiplication mindset?
1. It means we get to walk by faith, instead of by sight. We get to take bold risks for Christ, and lay out aggressive plans to share the gospel. That goes for each of us personally, and for our church corporately!
2. It means we get to step out of our comfort zones. Hey, if comfort was the objective, we’d already be in heaven – instead, we get to live out the adventure God has in mind for us on earth, trying new things and stretching past our limits.
3. It means we get to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power. It’s not possible for mere “human effort” to multiply God’s kingdom purposes on earth. It’s not about our strategies, or our abilities, or our money, or anything else that is ours – it is about God working through us, about Him doing “more than we could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
I suppose in the weeks ahead we’ll explore more specifically what this means, but for now, I wonder if you’d pray along with me:
“Lord, I know you've called me to be a disciple-maker, to multiply Your message across the world. I’m not sure what that means exactly, or what it is that I have to offer, but I give You my 'loaves and fishes' and trust that You can use them for Your glory. I’d love to see You do a miracle of multiplication in and through my life, and in my church as well. I’d love to see You 'feed the multitudes!' For your glory, Lord – use me!”
Interim Teaching Pastor