WOULD YOU RATHER…?
By Dave Earley
Would you rather be handed one hundred dollars every day for a year or be given 1 penny that doubles every day for one month?
I remember being a boy in school when a teacher asked us this question. The answer seemed obvious- adding a hundred dollars every day for a year had to be better than multiplying pennies for only a month. So I choose the hundred dollars daily for a year, as did almost all of the other kids. $100.00 every day for a year is a good deal. After a year you would have over $36,000. Sounded good to me!
Did I make the right choice? If you doubled pennies every day for a month how many would you have?
Never Underestimate the Power of Multiplication
The teacher also had us to get a piece of paper and begin the doubling process. Day One: 1 penny; Day Two: 2 pennies; Day Three: $.04; Day Five: $.08; Day Ten: $5.12; Day fifteen: $163.84 … No big deal.
But then the immense power of multiplication began to become evident. Day 21: $10,485.76; Day 22: $20,971.54; Day 23: $41,943.04! Twenty-three days of pennies had surpassed a year’s worth of hundred dollars bills! Wow!
Then it got crazy – $83,886.08! $167,772.161 $335, 544. 32!
On Day 28 it passed a million. Day 30 the grand total was $5,368,709.12!!!!
Jesus Commanded Us to Multiply
A weeks after Jesus rose from the dead and few days before Jesus ascended into glory, He gave His disciples some final instructions. These words were and still are of utmost significance because they are the last words Jesus ever said to His followers. As His last words, they eloquently express His greatest passion and top priority.
Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The command to make disciples is the command to intentionally multiply the life of Christ in you, into others. Teaching them to obey everything He commanded includes teaching them to obey this command as well – the command to make disciples who in turn make disciples. This ensures perpetual and ever expanding multiplication.
Jesus was a Multiplier
Jesus changed the world. How did a poor carpenter from a forsaken, enslaved nation change the history of the world? He used the power of multiplication.
Jesus’ method of reaching the whole world with the gospel of the kingdom was It was through the simple process of multiplication. He called twelve men to be trained to become multipliers (Mark 1:16-20).
The core of Jesus ministry was not Television, radio, or huge gatherings. No. It consisted of training a handful of Jewish men so He could reach an entire world of Greeks, Romans, Asians, Germans, Indians, Arabs, Latinos, Russians, and Americans.
The training of the twelve was the primary global ministry strategy of Jesus Christ.
He knew He would have to leave. He also knew one of His disciples would fail, but He never wavered from His plan. His plan hinged on eleven trained disciple-makers. His plan to reach the whole world, over and over, generation after generation was that simple.
Jesus left His disciples when He ascended into heaven. Yet, His ministry has grown and multiplied many times over because He left behind multiplying leaders.
Within days after Jesus left, His eleven disciple-makers and the seventy other disciples were ready to handle a harvest of three thousand new converts in a citywide network of house churches (Acts 4:41-47). Later, when the Jerusalem church was persecuted and the church scattered, their disciples went everywhere preaching the gospel (Acts 8:1,4) and churches such as the one in Antioch were born (Acts 11:19f).
You Can Do It!
I started intentionally multiplying when I was 19 years old. I found a couple of guys a step behind me in the journey and invited them to meet with me regularly to read the Bible and pray together. Within a year, all of those guys began to make their own disciples. I have been meeting with, mentoring, and multiplying small handfuls of guys ever since.
Recently, I counted and over the years I have personally spent intentional, strategic time mentoring over 40 of the young guys who have become multiplying pastors, church planters, or fulltime missionaries. Through them, my ministry has been multiplied forty times. Plus, they have mentored and multiplied their own small groups of guys, making my gospel impact spread into the lives of thousands of people. Wow!
For example, twenty-nine years ago, I began meeting with Claude Davis on Tuesday mornings when we were both in our mid-twenties. Eventually, Claude became a staff pastor at New Life Church. Today he and his wife Ginny are launching a new church in Whitehall Ohio.
I am currently meeting with three groups of young guys headed to become pastors, church planters, and missionaries. It may be the most important thing I do every week.
Ask God to give you someone to meet with regularly in order to intentionally pour your life into.
You can do it!