Why Multiply?

by Demetrius Nathan
When it comes to multiplication as a church, there is excitement and also some fear. Multiplying means change and often reformation. So why would we want to multiply, and why is multiplication at the heart of our church?
Jesus commanded us to multiply when he told us to “go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19).” The call to multiply is not just for the few—it is a call for all who follow Christ. To go and make disciples does not mean going on a mission trip or doing outreach. It is a call to live deliberately with those whom God has put in our sphere of influence, to live intentionally where we are or where we are going. It means we take steps every day to love God and others in our community, family, peer group, and vocation. For some, that might mean leaving where they are and living life with those who don’t have access to the gospel, and for others, it is living purposefully with a co-worker, roommate, next-door neighbor, classmate, or family. To live deliberately boils down to love, but we can only do that if we allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us and if we die daily to ourselves.
1) We multiply because this was the first command God gave to man in Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it…” It is echoed when Jesus says to go and make disciples. God created us to display his image, and Jesus is commanding and empowering us to help others live in the image of Christ.

2) We multiply because multiplication is evidence of growth. But not all growth is healthy multiplication. The goal of a healthy church should not focus solely on numbers but on lives transformed by the power of the gospel. We desire multiplication because we desire for those around us to hear the Good News. Everyone wants peace in one form or another, but only Jesus can give us the kind of true objective peace that leads to subjective peace. When we grow and multiply, we provide more opportunities for the world around us to know the peace that comes through Jesus Christ.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”—Romans 10:15b
When we go and make disciples, we are like a fruit tree. Our goal is to produce fruit—the kind of fruit that carries seeds to generate other fruit trees. Multiplying is more than getting a collective group of people together who share the same values; it is about equipping people to live intentionally in their sphere of influence, so more people will live intentionally in their sphere of influence.
A pastor friend once told me to continuously work my way out of a job and always leave the ministry better off than when I entered it. That is a good life motto. Whatever sphere of influence God has put you in, try to leave it better off than when you entered it and empower those around you to do the same. Jesus’ life was the ultimate example of this.
We at Cornerstone strive to see people come to saving faith, to watch community groups multiply, to have our pastoral team grow, and to empower people to utilize their gifts in serving the body. We are also a church that wants to multiply by planting other church-planting churches.
We multiply because we want to advance God’s kingdom. Why multiply? We want to join in the work of those who brought the Good News to us by going out and sharing that Good News with others.