The work on Simply Multiply is taking shape and in many ways a lot of the hard work is already done. The final touches of putting it all together and choosing a format for notes and presentation is what we are working on now. Here is a peek at a draft of the introduction. A big thank you to all of you who are praying for this project. Please keep praying!
For a number of years now I have talked to friends who are believers who have been feeling a kind of frustration in their life. They love Jesus and the church, they desire to see their loved ones come to faith, be healed and have their lives restored. They really have a heart to see the gospel multiply and flourish in mighty ways. One frustration is that what they see in the New Testament is a movement of people, a church that, although imperfect and looking very messy at times, nevertheless was a Church that was growing rapidly. They cared for each other and those around them. They had one another and the presence of the Holy Spirit to sustain them in their constant outward movement. The first Christians were committed to obeying the teachings of Jesus. They told everyone about Jesus’ love and his Kingdom. No matter what the cost, they determined to press on. As followers of Jesus they simply dedicated themselves to live and love like Jesus. As a result the church grew from 120 people to about 20 million in the first 300 years. But the reality some of my friends experience and see in the West today looks very different. Apart from some small pockets of growth from time to time, the honest truth is; overall the church in the Western world is in decline. We are losing ground.
An obvious question we are bound to ask is; ‘Why doesn’t the church in the west grow explosively like the church described in the book of Acts?
We all could come up with many opinions, ideas and viewpoints as to why.
In our many years of ministry working with leaders, churches and church planting we have discovered that most followers of Jesus really have a heart to see the gospel multiply and flourish in great and powerful ways.
But too often many are using outdated formulas for times that have changed dramatically in recent years. They are doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Too many people have never been taught the why, what and how of disciple making- of making a difference in the world.
Whether you’re a mom, student, business leader, teacher, church planter, pastor or church leader, or even unemployed, if you’ve got a desire to make a difference in the world, there has never been a better time to put that desire into actionable steps than right now.
Right from the very beginning, God’s plan has always been multiplication. God’s first command in the Scriptures is “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28, NLT). Similar commands are found in Exodus 1:6-7, 12 and 20 and are directly connected to God’s blessing. All throughout the Scriptures you see that God’s DNA for ministry is multiplication. The fulfillment of God’s Old Testament covenants with David and Abraham and the New Testament Great Commission commands is portrayed in Revelation with this great picture from John, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). John saw the fulfillment of God’s plan of multiplication. Each one of us is invited and commissioned to play a part, to be coworkers with Jesus in fulfilling God plan.
This picture of a multi ethnic multitude worshiping God at the end of history should give us great confidence in our great God. All authority belongs to Him, and His plans always succeed. Each one of us here today wants to be in that multitude and we want to see our loved ones, friends, neighbors, our nation there with us worshiping God.
Our prayer and desire for Simply Multiply is that God would use us in training and encouraging his followers to join in with Jesus and get involved in God’s great multiplication movement.
Our vision is simply to see Christian communities who are following and doing what Jesus did simply multiply everywhere. We want to help and encourage every follower to be a fisher (Matthew 4:19).
Imagine if every follower of Jesus you knew was intentional about following Jesus, being changed by Jesus and committed to the mission of Jesus. Think of how we would see people’s lives renewed, restored, churches multiplying into new churches, communities changed and as a result the Kingdom of God advance. This is the work and mission of God and He wants us to join in.
This Simply Multiply seminar/workshop is designed to remind you of and help you rethink and rediscover your mission and calling: Simply multiplying disciple-making disciples.