I am committed to a multiplication ministry for three reasons: the brevity of life, a sense of stewardship, and a desire for my life to count for God.
First, the brevity of life. The Bible teaches that life is like a vapor. Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, it is like a tale that is told. It is fleeting, like water that is poured out upon the ground and cannot be gathered up again. I can identify with David when he cried out, “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9, KJV) I understand that. And when David prayed, “Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come.” (Psalm 71:18 KJV)
The only way I can show the power of God to “everyone who is to come” is by investing in the lives of people who will invest in the lives of other people who will invest…and that way, by the grace of God, I can show the power of God to generations yet to come.
There are even some promises regarding this: “Even to old age I am the same and to (the time of) gray hair I will bear you. I have made you and I will carry you: even I will bear you and save you.” (Isaiah 46:4, LB) A psalm promises, “In old age they shall still be bearing fruit. They shall be full of life and vitality.” (Psalm 92:14, LB)
Second, a sense of stewardship. We refer to life as “my life.” It is precious. In Job 2:4 Satan says, “All that a man hath will he give for his life.” (KJV) But why do we call it “my life?” I have a responsibility for the life that God has given me. I didn’t manufacture it. I don’t sustain it. It is something God has loaned me for a short time while I am here on earth, and I believe I have a responsibility to invest it where it will count most. The psalmist says, “Let everyone bless God and sing His praises, for He holds our lives in His hands. And He holds our feet to the path.” (Psalm 66:8-9 LB)
Third, I want my life to count for something worthwhile. I’d hate to reach the end of the road and have it said of me as it was said of an old couple in Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage: “It was as if they had never lived at all.” I don’t want that to happen to me. I want to live and pass on abundant life in Christ to many, many others. I can do it through a ministry of spiritual multiplication, reproducing myself many times over in a disciple-making ministry. And so can you.
– From “Making Disciples,” Gene Warr. Used by permission of the author.