The biggest obstacle for multiplication
The biggest obstacle for multiplication in your church is a leader trying to grow the church. Yes, you read that right. If we constantly try to grow our church, we will hinder multiplication.
Let me explain:
If a pastor/leader wants to grow his church, he will most likely make it more attractive for people to come to the church. He will work hard to have better sermons, better worship, better finances, better small groups, better everything. To accomplish all these things, he needs to gather people and resources. A key to multiplication, however, is sending. Multiplication cannot happen, if we don’t let go, if we don’t give freedom, if we don’t actively give away.
What is really asked of us leaders?
We are not called to grow our church. Jesus said: “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). We, on the other hand, are called to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). It is not our job to make the church become bigger.
Paul told Timothy: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2. Timothy 2:2). So, Paul discipled Timothy and Timothy is to disciple reliable people, who themselves are to disciple others again. That is four generations of disciples and that is multiplication.
But Paul had to send Timothy away from him, so that he was able to do that. We can only imagine how much time and effort Paul had to spend until Timothy was able to do the things he was taught. And when he was, Paul could not keep him for himself. Because Paul saw the cause of the kingdom, Timothy had to be sent out.
Becoming a Kingdom Leader
There is a lot of humility needed for a leader to act like Paul did. Imagine how much more Paul could have achieved for himself if Timothy would have stayed and helped him. The people Timothy discipled will not look up to Paul the way they will look up to Timothy. People might praise Timothy for his leadership, not knowing that it was Paul who helped Timothy become that kind of leader in the first place.
Kingdom leaders are happy to take on this supporting role. They realize that God’s Kingdom is far bigger than their churches. They will say as Bob Buford said: “My fruit grows on other people’s trees.” Kingdom Leaders do not measure themselves by what they do, but by how they release the potential in their “Timothy´s”. They do not want to write their own story but rather want to be part of God’s story.
The power of Multiplication
What if the majority of pastors were to embrace the practices of kingdom leaders? We would have churches full of volunteers not just doing a task but looking to multiply their faith. We would have an army of upcoming leaders seeking to multiply.
Don’t ask how you can grow your church. Instead ask yourself: How can we multiply God’s Kingdom?