Multiplication Starts with YOU and ME

Recently, I received an email from one of our pastors that challenged my thinking in a good way. Here in the Texas District, we talk a lot about our mission to Multiply Disciples and Churches. He affirmed that we indeed should be talking about multiplication, but questioned whether we might be missing the heart for the strategy. What this pastor meant is that we can have the best of intentions that are indeed consistent with God’s desire and plan the best strategies for how this can happen, but if people (insert YOU and ME) are not captivated in our hearts to share the Gospel, multiplication will never happen.
I have to agree: Multiplication can only ever begin when followers of Jesus (again, insert YOU and ME) are moved in our hearts to share Jesus with others in ways that are natural and happen regularly as we go through our everyday lives. We are sorely mistaken if we wait around for someone else to do this multiplication work.
Jesus has much to teach us about multiplication, particularly in the story of the feeding of the 5,000 as recorded in Matthew 14. Over the next few months, we will walk through this miracle story step by step. Along the way, we will discover the lessons that we can learn from Jesus to help us participate in God’s multiplication work in the world around us today just like his first disciples did in the story.
What we learn first from Matthew’s telling of this story is that Jesus was moved with compassion for people. Even though he had withdrawn to be by himself as he mourned the death of John the Baptist, Matthew tells us that when he saw the people, he had compassion on them and ministered to their needs. As the day went on, Jesus’ disciples also saw how the people needed something to eat and they had a solution at the ready: They asked Jesus to send the people away so they could go into the surrounding towns to get food. In other words, feeding the people was for someone else to do. But Jesus had a different idea: “You give them something to eat.”
It is awfully tempting to look at the world around and see all the needs of others and expect someone else to do something about it. But Jesus consistently invites his followers to participate in what he is doing. It starts with having a heart like Jesus to see the needs of others and be moved with compassion to accept his invitation to get involved and share the love of Jesus. Multiplication starts with YOU and ME!
Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for LCMC Texas District and Program Director of Harvest Workers, an online ministry training program (learn more at Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or