Don't Stop Telling People About Jesus
So it has been a while since I published anything here!
I want to tell you a multiplication story. Remember, that is kind of the thrust of this substack. I want to gather and encourage people who will pray with me/for me about Gospel multiplication.
In the simplest terms, Gospel multiplication is what happens when you make a disciple who makes disciples who makes disciples… and is going on to the 4th generation and beyond.
It is what happens when a church plants a church that plants a church that plants a church. When there is a “great-great granddaughter church,” multiplication might be about to happen! And once multiplication takes root, it leads to explosive growth.
Now here is the thing, a multiplication approach to discipleship and evangelism is the LONG GAME. It takes faith. It is a lot more fulfilling to see a bunch of people right now, either in a fast-growing church service or in a large Sunday School class, than it is to work for multiplication by spending time in one-on-one relational discipleship, or than it is to spend the money and give up the people from your current church to start a new church… it is natural to want to see the people and the money RIGHT HERE.
Evangelism and discipleship are kind of like planting an orchard versus going to Kroger and buying a bunch of apples. Experts agree: the best-tasting apple is called a Ribston Pippin. If it is so good, then how come I have never heard of it, you ask. Well, it is an ugly apple. It is not uniform in color or shape. And generally speaking, people want a nice apple with no “blemish.” We want a pretty apple more than a tasty one!
And then there’s this. Ribston pippins take a while to produce fruit, sometimes up to 10 years after they are planted. It’s a long game. Best apples in the world, but it is going to take some time.
Evangelism and discipleship are similar. Can it happen quickly? Yes, and sometimes it does. But mostly it is a longer commitment.
Why do I say all this? I got a call early this morning. It was really early for the guy who called me, from Iowa. I was really bummed when Nathan and Jennifer Dishman left Morehead. Not only were they great friends, they were really good “connectors.” I was meeting so many people, reaching people for Christ whom I never would have met without them.
Nathan was in an evangelism group I led for some professors at Morehead State. It really stuck with him. He was calling me early a few mornings ago to tell me he had just led someone to Christ! He was a mess! A ball of emotion. He was sobbing at times, at other times pumped up, totally in awe of what God had done. He had been working on it, sharing when he could. But he also had those moments we all have, when we back off, feel awkward, whatever the feeling that holds us back. But that day, he harvested from where the soil had been prepared, the seed planted, the plant watered, and Nathan’s faithful witness got to reap the harvest!
His experience made me think a few things. You gotta put in the hard work early. We invested in evangelism training—having Beau come to Morehead, just like he is here at Trinity Hill. We put a lot of time into reading and studying and practicing. In fact a book I thought was just ok, Thresholds of Belief made a lot of sense to Nathan, so much so that he referenced it in our phone call! And I am also glad he moved, because that means the work expands.
When the seed falls into good soil, it produces a crop, 30, 60, 100 times what was sown. Nathan and I will never see the harvest from the seeds we sow. If we can’t trust Jesus for that, what are we even doing?!
So I want to encourage you, encourage myself! Do not stop telling people about Jesus!