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importance post 02 • Becoming a Disciple-Maker

Addition vs. Spiritual Multiplication – The Importance of Disciple-Making, Audio Series

Full Transcript:

Now, how are we going to reach them? They can either be reached through addition or through multiplication.

Many years ago in Berlin, Germany, at the first World Congress on evangelism, I was a steward, or an intern with the Graham Association, and I was stationed there along with my wife to work in preparation for that wonderful meeting. And there were two clocks in the entryway, one that was moving quite slowly, it was marked addition, and the other that was moving rapidly, and it was marked multiplication.

And this was a vivid reminder to everyone who came in because research had been done to estimate the number of physical births in the world and the number of people who were joining churches all over the world every day, and then they worked it down to every hour. Now, joining a church does not make us a Christian. We all know that, right? Being a church member doesn’t make you a child of God.

Being a born-again person makes you a child of God, receiving Christ as your Savior. However, because we’re not able to see the hearts of people, the scientists just took the additions to church membership and made that clock move at that speed, and I think they looked at about 70 or more denominations in order to come up with their numbers. And then they took the world birth, the population explosion that was taking place and still is, the physical multiplication of the birth of newborn children, and you could see one clock moving very slowly and the other one almost spinning.

And I sat there as a young Christian studying that, looking at it in my 20s, and I thought, if we don’t change the way the church does evangelism, we’ll never be able to catch up with the birth rate. Now, that was common sense, and that’s the reason they had the two clocks there to vividly state that to every delegate who came from around the world. Unfortunately, the message has been slow to be internalized by the church.

Seminaries, colleges, the places where we receive our training for the ministries that we do have been slow to turn the corner and to say we’ve got to teach our people how to live a life of spiritual multiplication. I’d like for you to coin that phrase and for it to become a part not only of your vocabulary, but your prayer life, because we need to pray that our individual churches and denominations that we represent would begin to think in terms of multiplication rather than traditional addition.

Now, in the early days of the faith, we did multiply.  That’s how we went from being a group of 120 in the upper room, 500 at the ascension, to several million in two and a half centuries when we brought the Roman Empire to its knees. We multiplied. In those years, we didn’t have seminaries, beautiful church buildings like the one we’re meeting in today.

We didn’t have nice Bibles like the one that we’re holding in our hands that have gold leaf for tabs and a concordance in the back. Early Christians didn’t have the benefit of any of this. No buildings, no Bibles, no places for higher education.

And yet, they reached countless thousands and millions for Christ in that first two and a half centuries. No budgets, no buses, no satellites. Are y’all with me in what I’m trying to tell you? You see, they had the purest elementary thing in the world.

They had all they needed to carry out the Great Commission. They had the truth. They had Christ in their heart.  They were empowered by the Spirit of God and love compelled them to tell others about the Savior.

Today, we are placing too much dependence upon methodology and all of the things that we have to work with. And we’re not putting enough dependence and focus upon that which the early Christian community had, which we also have, but which is buried, so to speak, under all of the rest of this.

You and I could be dropped out of a plane on an island with nothing but our Bible, and a few clothes, and a little food, and become missionaries – because we have what we need. We have Christ, our Lord and our Master. We have the Holy Spirit to teach us and the Word of God that’s quick and powerful and sharper than what…? Any two-edged sword.

Now, we need to understand we have the greatest opportunity that history has ever known. Not only do we have all that the early believers have, but we have airplanes to travel around. We have cell phones, the internet.

We have every communication skill available more than any other group of Christians in the history of the world. But we cannot depend upon that. We’ve got to stay with the basic biblical principles if we want to succeed at our mission.

Are you with me?

(continued in part 3 of the series)

Equip Your Church to Move from Addition to Spiritual Multiplication .

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