A couple weeks ago, I read a devotional about the power of multiplication. The writer said the reason the church is losing ground is because we are adding people to the kingdom while the population of the world is multiplying.
I heard power of multiplication mentioned again the same day, and it struck a chord. What does this power of multiplication look like?
If you shared the gospel and brought one soul into the kingdom every day for 33 years, over 12,000 lives would be changed (33 X 365=12,045 plus leap years. #nodaysoff). While anyone would love to have that sort of impact on the world, the effort and consistency to create that impact would be superhuman. What things do you do every day, consistently? To share the gospel and have someone come to life through Christ would be more than a full time job. In a word, it’s impossible.
That’s the power of addition. One life at a time. One day at a time. Over and over. Rinse and repeat. Don’t take a day off.
Here is the power of multiplication. Take one person under your wing for one year. Spend time mentoring them and teach them to walk with Christ. Learn to hear His voice. Follow the Father. When the year ends, you release them, and begin to mentor another. Your previous padawan also goes out to mentor one person for a year. Each year you start over. Each year, every apprentice begins to teach a new disciple.
It’s slow going. After one year, your impact has reached one person. If you compare your results with the daily evangelist, you are losing 365 to 1. After 2 years, you have 3 changed lives, but the other guy has 730. Three years into your ministry, you now have 7 people, while the other guy has over 1,000. You think about giving up.
But you stick with it. Two years go by. You’ve been discipling, teaching, mentoring and counseling 1 new person every year. Every one you taught did the same. Now 5 years in, your work has resulted in 31 graduates of your yearly program. The evangelist has done amazing work, and seen over 1,800 hearts come to life in Christ.
You toil for 5 more years in obscurity. The preacher is out on the streets, bringing 1 more lost soul into the kingdom every day. After 10 years, over 3,600 people are now Christians because of his faithfulness. Pretty astounding work. For you, something miraculous happened. In year 9, you and your followers totaled over 500 people. In year 10, the power of multiplication caught up with the power of addition, and your group doubled over 1,000 people. You’re starting to catch up.
The next 5 years see amazing results. 2,048. 4,096. 8,192. 16,384. Each person disciples one person, who in turn disciples another person over the course of a year. After 14 years, more people have experienced change through this ministry than 30 years of daily preaching. Over the next 19 years and a total of 33 years, multiplication has the potential to change over 8 BILLION people (or greater than the population currently on the earth). That’s the power of multiplying.
How did God take Abraham and create a people outnumbering the stars in the sky? Multiplication.
How else did Jesus feed 5,000 people with a few loaves and fish? Multiplication.
How did one man’s death bring about salvation to the world? Multiplication.
We have a God who loves to multiply. He takes our effort and hits the “X” button. It might start small. You might feel insignificant. Stop looking at the addition and trust God to multiply. Over time, the results add up.
Jesus changed the world during his 33 years on earth. The same Spirit, the same potential lives within you.
John 14:12 (ESV) – “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these he will do, because I am going to the Father.” (emphasis added)
Don’t try to change everyone at once. Take one man on this path with you. Walk with him. Teach him how to follow God. How to listen for the voice of the Shepherd. Teach him to teach others.
Then do it again. And again. And again.
Watch God change the world, one man at a time.
Photo by Scott Brinkley (@sbrinkley79 on Instagram).