I find myself speaking in various leaders’ meetings and environments about Multiplication. I wonder if we, as church leaders in the West, have been subtly and innocently sidelined towards being addicted to addition. I have come to a conviction that God wants to multiply His church, not simply add to it.
Look at Jesus’ call to Simon Peter and the disciples—telling them that He would make them fishers of people (Luke 5:1-11 NIV), it was an invitation to partner with others. It was also an offer to the purpose of making them partners with Him in “fishing” for people, as well as a call to follow Him.
But I have only recently seen the huge backstory to this passage of Scripture. It would have been a miracle to catch even 10 or 20 fish at that time of day. These were professional fishermen who knew the lake and its environs. To catch any fish at that time of day would have been an amazing miracle. But Jesus asks them to launch out into the deep and let down the nets. They caught so many fish that day, the nets began to break (and note that it was nets, not simply a single net). Also, both boats were so full of fish they were in danger of sinking. That’s MULTIPLICATION—an out-of-control harvest! That’s certainly not simply addition!
I believe Jesus is saying to us today: Multiplication is My desire and plan for every disciple and every church. I am convinced Jesus wants us to fish with nets (plural). He wants church-planting churches! Let’s not allow ourselves to be a cul-de-sac church—a dead-end-street church—a church that doesn’t plant churches.
Instead, let’s think about planting forests, or using nets, not simply planting a tree, or fishing with a hook and line.
Here’s another way of looking at this: Say we want to multiply cars. It takes a huge amount of energy and time to make a single car from scratch. But imagine a factory where multiple cars are produced, and not only one factory, but many factories.
I absolutely believe in Multiplication as a viable biblical strategy.
Let’s fish with nets… not just a hook and a line; lets plant forests or orchards…not simply a tree!
What do you think?
To be continued…