By Ken Adams: For most of us, if we don’t have a good reason for why we need to do something that will be challenging, we probably won’t do it. Knowing why is essential in most any endeavor, but especially when it comes to multiplying disciples. If we knew and understood why multiplication is so important, we would be committed to making it happen. With that in mind, let me share with you a few of the reasons why multiplication is essential in carrying out the mission of Jesus.
Multiplication is the fastest way to reach the nations
Jesus called us to make disciples of all nations, and that can be done one of two ways. We can make disciples by addition, or we can make disciples by multiplication. Multiplying disciples is by far the fastest way to accomplish the mission Jesus gave us to do. If we make disciples by addition we will never reach all nations simply because addition can never keep up with the exponential growth of the world’s population. Multiplication starts slowly but it picks up steam quickly, so quickly that the world’s population of nearly eight billion people can be reached in a lifetime if every disciple multiplied more disciples.
Multiplication is the smartest way to reach the nations
If you wanted to provide your child with the best education possible, would you choose a classroom with a teacher student ratio of 1 to 100 or 1 to 10? No one would intentionally choose the larger teacher student ratio if that person wanted to give his or her child a quality classroom experience. This is another reason why multiplication is so much smarter than addition. In movements of addition, groups or classes tend to get larger and larger. In movements of multiplication, the goal is to keep multiplying groups of people so that the church is getting larger and smaller at the same time. In Acts 2, the Church in Jerusalem was over three thousand members strong, but those members stayed small by meeting from house to house. That was a very smart way for the Jerusalem Church to grow.
Multiplication is the easiest way to reach the nations: Maybe you have heard someone say, “Work smarter, not harder.” The smarter way to make disciples is also the easiest way to make disciples. Think about your money for a moment. Would simple interest or compound interest be an easier path to building personal wealth? Compound interest is allowing your money to work for you by multiplying it. The same is true for disciple making. Trying to reach the nations by addition is so much harder than reaching the nations by multiplying disciples. For example: if I gave you a penny a day and doubled it every day for thirty days, you would have over $10 million dollars in thirty days. That’s easy money.
I’ve given you three good logical arguments for why you need to multiply disciples, but the real reason we need to multiply disciples is because Jesus told us to. Multiplying disciples is ultimately a matter of obedience to Christ’s commission. You are either making disciples who make more disciples, or you are not.
By Ken Adams
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