Surprised by Babes
I recently returned from meeting with networks of multiplying churches and leaders in North India. I visited one network of 225 simple churches represented by 20 or so disciples. An older woman who shared the gospel, invested in a faithful man whom she led to Jesus and through him multiple generations of disciples and churches emerged, initiated the network. As I sat among this small group of leaders listening to stories of their encounters with Christ and how many churches the trainers started, one really intrigued me. An older man rose and gave his story including the number churches he started. To my surprise this older man was only six months old in the Lord with 10 churches planted! Ten churches in six months- wow!!! I’m reminded of Luke’s presentation of Jesus’s good soil parable in which the only percentage for the good soil’s return is 100%.
In regard to kingdom expansion, the believers there expect more from new believers. New believers are equipped in such a way to validate this expectation. Believers are trained from the very beginning of their relationship with Christ to reproduce. It becomes their norm. Sort of like Proverb 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Genius.
The Genius of Jesus
The New Testament contains a similar story in Mark 5:1-20. Jesus and his disciples crossed the sea to the people of Gerasene. A demon-possessed man was there terrorizing everyone. Jesus cast the demons out of him. The demons entered into a herd of pigs and drowned them in the sea. The villagers came outside and were very disturbed. They found the possessed man to be a totally different person. Before, he was always naked, violent and cutting himself in the tombs. But now he was clothed, sitting and listening to Jesus. When they asked Jesus to leave the town, the man told Jesus, “Lord, wherever you go, I will follow you.” Jesus said, “No! Go and tell your friends how great of things the Lord has done for you.” Jesus told him, “No!” I would’ve been like, “What do you mean? You just rescued my life?” In verse 20 it says the man obeyed immediately and shared his story in the Decapolis. The Decapolis was an area of ten cities… ten cities! This man had never heard a sermon, no discipleship class, no theological training, no bible, but he did have an encounter with the living God. He had a story to tell. Jesus sent this newly believing man back among the people with whom he had relationship. Jesus is genius! Jesus said, “Go and tell your friends...” Jesus considered his encounter sufficient enough to send him on mission to ten cities. If you have encountered Jesus, you have what it takes to be a multiplier. You, too, have a story to tell. You, too, can train others from the outset to share their stories. Who knows? They may impact ten cities or ten nations. Just saying. You have what it takes! May the genius of Jesus cause us to have a discontentment with the status quo. Below is a picture of the six month old. Surprisingly, in the kingdom of God, babies can multiply.
How has God spoken to you and how will you implement it?