“Multiplication.” The word alone brought horror to my life from 6th grade to 8th grade. I was terrible at math (still am), but my worst experience was in 6th grade when I was the only student who didn’t know his multiplication table. Fortunately, I can multiply now, both, in math and in discipleship!
You might be wondering what multiplication has to do with discipleship. Well, this week’s post is going to dive into a principle that Jesus began and should be the principle we use in discipleship.
When you multiply, generally, you increase the number you originally had. An example would be 2×2=4. Jesus left us with what is known as the “Great Commission.” Basically, a command telling us to take what we already have and increase the number. He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
Two words stand out to me in that passage: “disciples” and “them.” Both are plural. He was speaking to the disciples that followed Him throughout his ministry. However, Jesus says in the next verse, “…Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” This verse then applies to anyone who is a follower of Christ, including, you and me.
So how does this process work? Jesus tells His disciples to go into the world and make disciples. He then tells them to teach them what He has commanded. Well, didn’t Jesus just command them to do something? Yes, to make disciples. Simply put they were to make disciples that make disciples that make disciples. Below is a diagram of what this should look like. As you can see this method makes a huge impact fast. If one person would take make three disciple and then those disciples would make three more disciples and so on, the entire world would be impacted by the gospel in a year. Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Paul understood that, individually, he would never be able to reach everyone in the world with the gospel. He understood that in order for the world to be impacted with the gospel he must equip others who then would equip others to share the gospel of Christ and make disciples.
We need to understand that as well. More importantly we need to understand that the gospel won’t spread unless we do something about it. We need to be willing to take up the mantle left to us by the disciples and the early church and go into the world and make disciples not just converts. We need to educate them and then unleash them into the world to continue the multiplication process. Are we willing?