When you think of difficult tasks, what comes to mind? Becoming a violin virtuoso? Competing in the Olympics? Building a house? Having a great marriage? Raising kids? Maybe it is patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time! Go ahead; try it. There are many difficult challenges in the world today. Life is not easy.
When it comes to the church, one of the most difficult challenges that Great Commission leaders face is the challenge of not only growing a quality group, but multiplying a healthy group. In the Bible, the goal of multiplication is clear. Consider these verses:
- Gen. 1:28 says, "God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful andmultiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth'."
- Gen. 17:2 - When Abraham is 99 years old, God gives the promise that He will, "multiply you exceedingly."
- Gen. 22:17 - God appears to Abraham again at the offering of Isaac and says, "Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatlymultiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore."
- Gen. 26:4; 24 - God appears to Isaac and gives the same promise to him, "And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."
- Gen. 35:11 - God reiterates the promise to Jacob after Jacob wrestles and prevails with the Angel of the Lord and says, "I am God Almighty; 'Be fruitful and multiply;' a nation and a company of nations shall come forth from you."
- Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:34-44; Luke 9:12-17; and John 6:5-13 – The Feeding of the 5,000 is based upon the miracle of multiplication. The only way to feed, to shepherd, and to care for the multitudes is through the miracle of multiplication.