There is still a clear picture in my mind of the day I began to learn how to multiply. I remember the first day, learning the 1’s, with the nervous anticipation that comes from learning something new. One times anything equals that number. Ok, that’s easy. This isn’t so hard. We move on to the two’s. Hold on a second 2+2 equals 4 and 2x2 equals 4. This is silly, what’s the difference here. Over the next several weeks my eyes began to open. 8+8 is 16 but 8x8 is 64, 12+12 is 24 but 12x12 is 144!!! The numbers got big in a hurry.
Over the past several years of training and serving with e3 Partners our eyes have once again been opened to the power of multiplication. Even through the power and strength of the Holy Spirit there are only so many people I, by myself, can share the gospel with. Those efforts are equivalent to addition. But what if I spend my time teaching, training and discipling others to do evangelism, disciple making and church planting? If I go out and share the gospel with one person, then one person would hear the Good News. If that is my process then every time I do evangelism, one new person will hear each time. But if every time I share the gospel, I also teach THEM how to do evangelism through disciple making, then…multiplication! Watch this from our e3 training.
I share with one: 1 + 1 = 2; then I share with one more: + 1 = 3; and so on, sharing with one more each time + 1 = 4; + 1 = 5; + 1 = 6; + 1 = 7; + 1 = 8.
I share with one and then teach that person to share: 1 + 1 = 2; then we BOTH share with another x 2 = 4; then 4 of us ALL share x 2=8; if then that 8 ALL shares with another, the group doubles again x 2=16; and 16 each reaching another x 2 =32; and so on 32 x 2=64; 64 x 2=128!
What does this multiplication example show us? Evangelism is a ministry of addition. Disciple making is a ministry of multiplication. Changes in the first few generations are not very different. The difference grows greater and greater with each additional generation. Our family wants a ministry of multiplication, not addition.
As we look as Jesus’ time here on earth, yes many times he spoke to the masses, but He invested most of his time teaching the disciples. Paul did the same thing. That is Jenni’s and my heart here in Thailand. If we are teaching Chinese students, we are teaching them to multiply the Good News and make disciples throughout Asia. If we are teaching Thai pastors and leaders, we are teaching them to multiply throughout every village and town in Thailand. If we are discipling prostitutes, may word spread through every brothel until every girl hears the hope of Jesus Christ. In all of these, may God’s passion to reconcile the lost to Himself spread like wildfire so worship will rise up out of the darkness and bring glory to Him from every corner of the world.
So will we continue doing evangelism, disciple making and church planting? Yes. But at the same time we will be teaching others to do the same. So if you are a numbers person or a results person, you may need to adjust the measure of success. You may not hear from us, this many people made decisions or this many churches were planted that we actually had our hands in, but you’ll hear this many people were trained. And by training them we believe that our efforts will be multiplied for God’s glory. We may never know the impact of those we’ve trained until we are sitting around in Heaven and I’m OK with that. Because, after all, it’s not about me, it’s about God.
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