It's been a while since I posted here
I was telling a friend something I say often: “I am a slow learner.” I have been plugging away at reproducing discipleship for a while now… it’s not just that I am a slow learner, it’s that it is slow work. At some point, though, you cross a threshold where the long, slow work of making disciples who make disciples starts to take over. You don’t often get to see it, because you rarely know the disciples your disciples made, and you may never come across the disciples made by disciples made by your disciples!!! See 2 Timothy 2:2 for that— Paul basically has no idea who the 3rd and 4th generation disciples of Timothy are!
We have been doing “home groups” for almost a year. We have three, sort of four (I hope to write about the “sort of” home group later). One, the first one, that started in our living room, has reproduced. That’s the key: find a leader in your group who can start a new group. If you have found a leader who can start a new group and who can also find a leader in that new group to start yet another new group, you really need to invest in him/her, to pour gasoline on that fire to start new groups and train new leaders! Bishop Davis, former Bishop of Kentucky, sometimes known as the church planting Bishop, often said that was where you were going to find your church planters— the ones who can star new groups and train people to start more. I am glad I can see some of it happening.
Over the past 6 months, I have been able to spend some time learning from Ralph Moore, probably the best multiplication thinker/leader in America. In addition to just really getting so much practical, hands-on, wisdom-of-experience, he shared with us the number one factor in church/disciple multiplication: prayer. He says—now, listen, this is from the pastor who set loose a disciple-making movement that has planted more than 2700 churches— he says that multiplication starts with extraordinary prayer. A church has to be committed to extraordinary prayer to see a multiplication movement.
Jesus’ ways are simple. In the case of multiplying disciples and churches, it means doing the same things consistently: starting small groups that raise up and release leaders of new small groups, until there are enough to launch out as a church. You have simply got to do that, over and over. And you have to conceive it and bathe it in prayer, real, sacrificial praying. Jesus’ ways are simple; the dedication, though, demands everything you’ve got.