This article is designed to get you to start thinking about multiplication. It is not an in-depth article about how to multiply but rather a starting point to look at discipleship in a bigger picture.
In the body of Christ, multiplication plays an important element in advancing the Gospel. In fact, one of the last things Jesus told His disciples was to teach everyone all things that He commanded them.
Mat 28:20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
This means that the apostles multiplied everything Jesus taught them. But it doesn't stop there. The new believers then learned to repeat those same steps. They took the foundation of the apostles and then replicated it.
We, the body of Christ, are called to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles.
1Co 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also [imitate] Christ.
Phl 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
1Jo 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
What it could look like
Below is an example of how a typical discipleship process would look like.
- You engage various groups: classmates, neighbours, Muslims, and coworkers.
- You get them interested in the Gospel and start inviting them to your bible study (it could just be you and the person in that study). The goal is to get them into the Word.
- During this process, the attendees learn the skills of reading and hearing from God directly through His Word and obeying what they read. This is not where you teach but read the Word together and commit to obey the Word.
- Each week, they share the stories they are reading (from Genesis to Jesus) with those in their lives and love and help others in their community.
- Through this process of reading through God's Word, God opens their eyes, and they accept Christ and get baptized.
- Then, they start their very own bible studies with others they know (multiplication). These new groups go through the same process.
- Eventually, the various bible study groups form larger spiritual communities/churches according to the relationships being built.
- Over time, those who excel in obedience and demonstrate being filled with the Spirit are appointed to be deacons and elders.
- However, these spiritual communities will continue to engage others and multiply as when they began. And their disciples will also either join their gathering or form their own spiritual communities as well.
Why focus on discipleship?
- Pressure proof. It doesn't matter what's happening in the world; disciples will keep making disciples.
- Persecution proof. Large churches will always face persecution. Discipleship Making Movements do not because they are not focused on growing a large church but rather smaller groups of disciples who make more disciples.
Below are two diagrams to visualize this discipleship-making process further:
With this strategy, thousands of people could be reached in months, something that would have seemed impossible to one missionary under the old system!
The core idea
- Sharing things you've learned about God with other people
- Inviting them to a personal bible study
- Getting them into the Word and obeying it
Questions to meditate on
- How did Jesus apply this with the twelve disciples?
- Who in your close network is interested in learning more about God?
- Are you actively seeking discipleship opportunities?
- The last time you read something interested about God, did you have any opportunities to share it with someone?