MSG: State of the Church – Vision – Part 2

The following is the second half of the message “State of the Church – Vision” 
given on December 30, 2012 at Grace Evangelical Church.

The third concept is Multiplying:

Multiplying disciples – Matt. 28:18-20.  This has been my challenge.  I’ve been convicted that while I like the principle, I wasn’t sure this was being accomplished well 

Do I just want to increase numbers or get rid of the debt?  No. It is obedience to the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”

I remember fishing with my father-in-law in June of 1983.  We caught a female bluegill, which we realized during the cleaning process back on shore.  She was loaded.  That is she was loaded with hundreds of eggs.  If fertilized, she would have produced hundreds of other bluegills for many more fish fries.  God has a great plan of multiplying fish.  Do you know what the gestation period of a rabbit is?  31 days.  How about an elephant?  600 days.  Both rabbits and elephants multiply, but at entirely different rates.   

I began thinking, “What are we producing at Grace?”  I praise the Lord for young people who have gone on to the pastoral and mission field like Nate Davis, Michael Kramer, Sara Sparks Detig, Kim Hillebrand, Suzanne Paschal Varghese, Kristen Horn He and others in our church.  But I became more and more convicted that we really need to focus on the 80% of the congregation.  How do I help the 80% to catch the excitement of reproducing?

Here are some passages on multiplying:

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth (Gen 1:28)

So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. (Gen 9:1)

And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.” (Gen 9:7)

“blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiplyyour descendants as the stars of the heaven. (Gen 22:17)  

“in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. (Deut 30:16)

Here are a few more:   Gen 26:24; 28:3; 35:11; Ex. 32:13; Lev. 26:9; Deut. 6:3; 7:13; 8:1, 13; 28:63; 30:5; Acts 6:1,7; 12:24; Heb. 6:13-14

Yet, there are few other specific passages in the NT.  So does that mean multiplying people is not important?

Let’s consider this: Where are most passages for parenting? Dealing with money? Courting?   
We learn from the Old Testatment (Rom. 15:4) and through progressive revelation, we apply truths for our spiritual lives today: Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:2.

 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Tim. 2:2)

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. (John 14:12)

Read: Acts 1:6-11.  We can reproduce, because of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Everyone of us are here because of parents.  You may not have grown up with your parents, but two people under God’s sovereign plan gave you life.  Parents are supposed to know what to do, so that they will teach their children how to prepare for life.  No one needs to feed parents, tell parents to brush their teeth, floss, take a shower, get along with others, they just do.  No one tells parents to do their laundry or clean their room, they just do.   

Most normal parents want their children to be successful, i.e. able to fit into society, have a job and get along.  Most really want their children to be successful-“to get a job”- in order to provide so they can have a family and there can be grandchildren and great grandchildren.  That’s called growing a family or multiplication in the human race.  

Who is called to be a disciple-maker? Everyone is commanded to make disciples.  Does Grace have a model to facilitate that?               

 

Jesus is my model for everything.  He was single.  If He was single, then you can reproduce disciples if you are single.  That is important for singles to understand.
 
So let’s get specific.

How were you Connected?  Note Jesus’ model:   Luke 6:12-13

If Jesus is your model, ask yourself the following  question:

·         How am I currently reaching or connecting others?              

How are you being Equipped?   Note Jesus’ model: Luke 9:1-10

If Jesus is your model, ask yourself the following question:

·         How am I helping to build up others?                       
·         How am I equipping others for ministry? (for outreach, service, discipling) 

How are you Multiplying, so more will follow?  Note Jesus’ model: Luke 10:1,17-21

If Jesus is your model, ask yourself the following question:

·         How am I helping others to grow deeper?    
 

Jesus commanded each of you to make disciples.
How? Acts 1:8, 6-11

·         Does our model facilitate 80% of the church reproducing? 
·         How are we developing disciple-makers?
·         Will you humbly ask the Lord what His next step is for you?
 

Make this your prayer:

“Lord, I want to please You.  I want to be committed to Your will.  Help me take one lesson at a time that I might listen to understand how I can be a part of Your miracle of multiplication at Grace.” 

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