Chapter 8 – Multiplying

Jay states: "Churches that take the commitment seriously to connect God's people to meaningful ministry, will need to incorporate an intentional strategy to multiply and add more ministry volunteers. Multiplication's importance for the continuing future of the Church has been taught for years as it relates to reaching non-Christians or transferring biblical truth from one generation to another. Rarely is multiplication taught as it relates to connecting believers into meaningful ministry and its relevance to the future of Christianity."

Often, our supposed "multiplication" methodology consists of evangelism (adding new people to the Body) or merely teaching people what they need to know for a specific job (adding depth to an individual’s knowledge). However, at best that only adds more participants who are better informed. It seems to be the rare church which actually wants to see multiplication of disciples, and perhaps even has a "succession plan" for every ministry leader by them training their replacements. However, if we are serious about integrating the biblically mandated element of multiplication (e.g., 2 Timothy 2:2), we need to mentor people so they not only learn the job, but are equipped, empowered, and encouraged to transfer character and skills to other people. What could happen in our churches, our ministries, and God's Kingdom if we truly multiplied ministers who were able to train others also?

Multiplication actually should go beyond just "job training." We should reverse the current trend that separates ministry involvement from both character development and learning a biblical worldview. When we reintegrate these three elements – character, worldview, and ministry – we are more likely to build up transformed disciples whom others will want to be like. And that makes true multiplication of disciples more likely! This may become critically important for the future of institutional churches, as research indicates the number of professional clergy under the age of 30 is "remarkably small." If nothing is done, "the day might come when most American churches have no ordained ministers in their pulpits."

Mentoring is far more difficult in an era when people are so incredibly busy, and when we move so frequently. So, to do well in multiplied ministry, we must become far more intentional in cultivating relationships. We would also benefit from some tracking processes to evaluate our progress. Beyond that, we need to learn how to discern where people are at in their walk with the Lord and their spiritual interest/maturity level. Then we can make it our aim to customize our mentoring in order to help them get to whatever stage is next in their pursuit of God. This will sustain waves of disciples for generations to come.