God wants us to lead people to Jesus Christ, ground them as disciples committed to Him and then pursue multiplication to reach the world. There are three statements in this vision:
Connect together to worship God.
Equip together in grace to become more like Jesus.
Multiply together with the gospel to reach the world.
These three statements help us focus on the invisible, eternal reality of life – it all focuses on leading people to Jesus Christ.
The first statement is all about connecting people together in order to worship God. That is the purpose of a worship service – worship God. Announcements, fellowship and teaching are all important as long as they stimulate the people to worship God. They can, however, become more horizontal in orientation.
Connection happens as you build a bridge to someone who does not know Jesus Christ. As you build that bridge, share the gospel and trust God the Holy Spirit to do His work of conviction and then regeneration upon the person’s faith, you will connect him or her to a local church body of Christ-followers where they will worship God together (Hebrews 10:24-25).
The second statement, “Equip together in grace to become more like Jesus,” is the responsibility of Christians within the local church to equip followers of Jesus with the gospel and the depths of Scripture so they will be built up to a mature man and do the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11-16) We equip in grace, because discipleship is about a process of transformation and there are many ups and downs in the growth of believers. Disciplers need to be gracious, patient and persevering during the equipping process. The process is done in Fellowship Groups and Home Groups where people can learn God’s Word in a relational environment and reproduce, which is the third statement.
The third statement, “Multiply together with the gospel to reach the world,” is often the most overlooked and weakest link. It requires people to take divine risks discipling people with the good news of Jesus Christ. Then people must patiently wait on the Holy Spirit to do His work in the heart of the person to grow up and then begin discipling others. The multiplication process of discipleship is the only way the world will be reached. It is the Great Commission Jesus commanded,
19 “Go therefore1 and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Mat 28:19-20 NKJ)
Always keep in mind Jesus attitude toward Connecting, Equipping and Multiplying:
36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary1 and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Mat 9:36-38 NKJ)