Are you a multiplier?

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:11-12 


Spring will soon give way to summer.  The heat outside certainly feels like it.  This spring, many of us have planted gardens of vegetables and fields of crops.  We are seeing the seeds sprout and grow into mature plants.  Buds and blooms are beginning to open and fruit is beginning to ripen.  I enjoyed some delicious squash just last week.  My kids told me today that our first cucumber has started to grow on the vine.   

There is so much to learn from God’s creation and the art of gardening.  One principle evident in gardening is also apparent in our discipleship relationships.  This is the idea of multiplication.  Here are a few things to know about multiplication in discipleship.    

Multiply according to its kind – In the narrative of Creation, we read that God created plants and vegetation on Day 3.  God designed these plants and trees to multiply.  Each plant would produce seed “according to its kind.”  You don’t have apple trees producing banana trees.  They instead produce their own kind of tree.   
In discipleship we see that we each produce disciples according to its kind.  Leaders produce more leaders.  Children’s ministry teachers produce more children’s ministry teachers.  Ushers produce more ushers.  Greeters produce more greeters.  Prayer and Bible Study Group leaders produce more Prayer and Bible Study Group leaders.  Disciples of Jesus produce more disciples of Jesus.  We multiply our understanding, skills and experiences in others.   
Multiplying starts with planting.  When we start gardens, we take small seeds and put them in the ground.  We nourish them with water, sun light, and fertilizer.  We give special attention to these seeds so that they will grow.   
In discipleship, multiplication starts with planting seeds in others.  We must share the gospel with others.  We must teach new believers new truths in God’s Word, and new spiritual habits to practice.  Disciples need special attention (especially early in their walk with Jesus) to know how to grow in Christlikeness. 
Multiplying requires ongoing growth.  In gardening we cannot plant seeds and forget them.  Even when the plant sprouts and begins to grow, we cannot ignore it.  It still needs the basics of water, sunlight, and fertilizer.  These can be given more sparingly.  But now the plant often needs to be pruned to produce healthier fruit.   
In our discipleship relationships we often continue to nurture one another in the truths of God’s Word, spiritual disciplines, and regular community with others.  As disciples grow, they become self-feeders – learning God’s Word and practicing spiritual habits on their own.  But they also need pruning.  We still need fellowship with one another so that we learn from others how to live the truths from God’s Word in our everyday experience.   
Multiplying is the result of healthy gardening.  When we have taken care of our gardens well then, we will reap a harvest.  In every fruit or vegetable more seeds are grown and can be planted for the next season.  The process continues year after year.  
When we have made disciples well, we will reap a harvest.  Every disciple has what they need to share Jesus, teach truths from God’s Word, and help others grow in Christlikeness.  The discipleship process continues as we invest in others.   
Are you multiplying?   
2 Timothy 2:2 says, “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”   
As we abide in Christ and His Word abides in us, we will grow and bear fruit.  Our knowledge, experience, and skills can be taught to others like seeds planted.  The most significant seed planted is the Gospel of Jesus.  
Let’s be mulitpliers.  


Leave a Reply