Saturday, September 24, 2016

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In this blog, I provide teaching and training on how to be fruitful and multiply.

As the Scripture says, "God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" (Gen 1:28)

Some of the topics covered include multiplication, fullness, being a witness for Jesus, being a fisher of men, making disciples, the popularity of the gospel, and the importance of receiving the Holy Spirit to be a powerful witness for Christ.

Multiplication Being a Witness for Christ Give Me Children or I'll Die!
Multiplication Illustrations Evangelism only for the Healthy? Be a Star for Jesus
Fullness Popularity of the Gospel The Jesus Film Project
International Impact of Pentecost Here I Am, Send Me Now is the Day of Salvation
Fishers of Men - the 419 series Life Transformation Groups The Sin of Silence
Confrontational Evangelism Rescue Souls! What is That in Your hand?
Fruit in Every Season How to Start an LTG

Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Doulos Training School


Doulos Missions International now offers discipleship training online through the Doulos Training School (DTS).  Please visit the DTS online at Doulos Training School to find out more about how you or someone you know can participate.
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

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"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


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Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Start an LTG

In my previous article, I explained Life Transformation Groups (LTG), which are an excellent way to make disciples that multiply, as Jesus did. Anyone in Christ can start an LTG. It's not difficult. That's one reason why it is so effective, because it is easily repeatable by disciples of all ages around the world. However, for those who are not sure how to start an LTG, please allow me to give you some simple steps.

1. Step One: Pray and ask the Lord whom you should invite to join you in an LTG. Wait on the Lord to answer you as you consider the people you know. Find another person who has a hunger for more of God in his or her life. The groups are not mixed-gender, so consider those of your own gender.

2. Step Two: Once you determine whom the Lord is leading you to invite, go to the person and invite them. For those who don't know how to do that, here is how I suggest you do it. Begin saying you believe the Lord is leading you to invite them to a "discipleship relationship." Be sure and smile as you open the topic. Explain that it involves reading lots of Scripture, praying for the lost, and meeting together once per week for an hour. Explain that neither of you will be the leader or teacher, but that you will be coequals. Explain that the group is limited to two or three people of the same gender, so it will always remain small, but new groups can be started as more people want to join. Explain that you would like them to read the article, Life Transformation Groups, and pray for a week or two about whether the Lord wants them to join you in one of these groups. Ask them to get back to you afterward and let you know if this is what the Lord wants them to do. Be sure and ask them to pray first about it, even if they seem sure immediately that this is what they want to do.

3. Step Three: After a couple weeks, if the person has not yet gotten back to you with a response to your invitation, ask them if they have a sense from the Lord yet whether or not this is what He would have them do. If they say they have not, tell them to pray about it for another week, but that you do need a response, so you know whether they will join you, because you would like to start as soon as possible.

If you receive a negative response from the person you invited, then thank them for praying about it, and move on to inviting someone else by following these same three steps. If you receive an affirmative response from the person you invited, then proceed to step four below.

By the way, you can invite a second person, following steps one to three above before you have received a response from this person. But do not invite more than two at a time, because the group is limited to three people. I recommend inviting one person at a time, and keeping it simple, but feel free to invite two at a time, if the Lord leads you that way. Starting off with just you and one other person in the group initially has many advantages to it, and you can always invite another person to join the group once you two get started. If you invite two people at once, you should probably wait for both to decide whether to join before you get started, unless one person is taking longer than three weeks to decide, and the second person has already indicated they would like to join you. The reason is that you need to move forward with starting the group, and if a person really wants to do this, they will not take very long to decide.

4. Step Four: Decide together with the person who has agreed to be your LTG partner which day of the week you will meet for at least an hour, as well as the time and place where you will meet. You do not have to meet at the same place every week. It can be in a home, church, office, or food court in a mall for example. The main thing is that it is conveniently accessible to all members of the group, and it affords enough privacy to speak confidentially to each other. Once you have decided when and where to meet, proceed to step five.

5. Step Five: Decide together with your new LTG partner which passage of the Bible to read before your first meeting. Pick a passage of 25 to 30 chapters in the New Testament initially, and I recommend staying in this part of the Bible for the first year. You could choose a book like Matthew, which is 28 chapters. Or you could choose to read Galatians five times for a total of thirty chapters. Each member of the LTG should individually and privately read the same passage of Scripture that you agreed upon together in step five. You do this throughout the week during your own personal devotions with God.

6. Step Six: Print out a copy of the five questions that will be used in your first meeting, as listed in the article Life Transformation Groups, or write them down. You may also order LTG cards from  Church Multiplication Associates (CMA). As you go through your week, you will make notes to yourself, so that you can answer the questions when you meet together for your LTG meeting.

7. Step Seven: Meet together for the first time at the appointed place and time. Begin with a word of prayer, and then decide who will go first in answering the five questions. Remind your partner that any sins you confess to each other in the group must remain confidential between the two of you. One person can then ask the other each of the five questions, while the other person answers them. Afterward, trade places and the other person now gets to answer the questions.

8. Step Eight: During your first meeting, ask your partner(s) to decide on two people they know that they would like you both to be praying for to come to Christ. I suggest you ask them to pick two people who are not in Christ and who would be strategically influential, if they came to Christ. They should be prepared to give you the names of these two people the next time you meet. Once they give you the two names, you should both write down the names. Likewise, you should give them the names of the two people you would like them to join you in praying for.

9. Step Nine: If everyone in the group has finished reading the agreed upon passage of Scripture, then do step five again before you end the meeting with prayer, so you know what to read before your next meeting. If any one person did not finish the reading, then everyone knows they must re-read the entire passage, even if they have already finished it.

These are the basic steps to starting an LTG, and once you have started one, you can invite a third group member, if you don't already have one.

Dealing with Issues
If your LTG partner is consistently not reading the Scripture passage you have agreed upon, or not coming to the meetings, or not submitting to the LTG process in any particular way, then you need to speak to them privately. I suggest you let them know that you would be glad to continue meeting with them for discipleship as long as they are willing to submit to the LTG process. But remind them that there are two criteria for being in an LTG: 1) a hunger for more of God in his or her life, and 2) a willingness to submit to the LTG process. Remind them that when you first asked them to pray about joining you in an LTG, they said they felt led by the Lord to join, but lately they do not seem to be submitting to the process. You might consider asking them to pray for two weeks about whether they still feel led to continue to meet with you for discipleship, and ask them to let you know. If after praying, they decide they no longer want to continue, then let them go, and you will need to find someone else. If they want to continue meeting, just be lovingly firm with them that you will be expecting them to submit to the process.

I hope this has helped you understand better how to get your LTG started and how to deal with issues that may arise.

Attribution: Life Transformation Groups by Neil Cole © 2000. For more information about Life Transformations Groups and other strategic resources visit Church Multiplication Associates (CMA). By the way, CMA has LTG cards containing the explanation of an LTG and the five questions, which you can order from them online. I recommend getting the blue cards with the five questions, rather than the red ones.Butterfly photo by my fifteen year old daughter H.R. Lacroix.

Author's Note: If you would like to become a disciple who makes disciples, please prayerfully consider enrolling in Doulos Training School, our international, distance education ministry. I also recommend reading Life Transformation Groups, The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer, The Cost of Discipleship, and Multiplication. You are invited to visit the Home page of this blog, and also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." 
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fruit in Every Season

Culinary fruit. Picture by Bill Ebbesen
Let's consider the importance of fruit in our lives as members of God's kingdom.

God Desires Fruit
First of all, God desires fruit. I personally enjoy eating fruit, especially juicy grapes, pears, strawberries, pineapples, nectarines, oranges, grapefruits, watermelon, dates, figs, and bananas. Probably the main reason I like them is because they're so sweet. Likewise, the Lord desires fruit in our lives, and to Him it is sweet.

Jesus warned the Jews who were supposed to be heirs of God's kingdom, but were not producing its fruit, when He said to them, "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. (Mat 21:43). The warning was that God desires fruit and will give His kingdom to a people who produce the fruit of it.

This is a key aspect of kingdom life. Jesus said, "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (Joh 15:16). He chose us and appointed His people to bear fruit that would remain.

He expects to receive His produce at the proper season: "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce." (Mat 21:33-34)

He comes looking for His fruit. I am reminded of the time when Jesus was hungry for something to eat one morning, and went looking for fruit on a fig tree he saw. "Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, 'No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.' And at once the fig tree withered." (Mat 21:19).

Mark's gospel mentions the fact that "Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, 'May no one ever eat fruit from you again!' And His disciples were listening." (Mar 11:13-14)

We know that He came to the tree for one purpose and that was to see if perhaps He would find any fruit on it to eat. When He did not find any, He cursed the tree.

Likewise, we are like fruit trees. The Lord comes to us looking for fruit in our lives. It's as if He is hungry for something sweet. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Gal 5:22-23). When we know someone with these virtues, we think of him or her as a sweet person. In the same way, the Lord also considers such people and the fruit of the Spirit to be sweet.

As my daughter Charity said in her poem, Fruit in Every Season:

"When Jesus comes looking for fruit on our tree,
Regardless of the season that it may be,
May He find our branches with something to offer --
Something delightful to Him and the Father."

What if He Finds No Fruit?
When the Lord does not find fruit in our lives, the ability to bear fruit is taken away.

First of all, it did not go well for that fig tree, when Jesus did not find any fruit on it to eat. He cursed it, so that it never bore fruit again. “...He said to it, 'No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.' And at once the fig tree withered.” (Mat 21:19b).

Secondly, the kingdom was taken away from the religious leaders, when they did not produce the fruit of it. "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” (Mat 21:43)

The religious leaders knew Jesus was talking about them, but rather than repent, their response to this message was to try to stop Jesus (arrest Him). It says, "When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest Him..." (Mt 21:45-46a, NIV). People still try to stop Him today, rather than listen to Him.

The amazing thing about this was that by trying to stop Jesus, they were actually fulfilling the parable He had just spoken against them. They knew what the proper punishment should be for those wicked men in the parable. "They said to him, 'He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons." (Mat 21:41, ESV).  They correctly understood that the Lord would ultimately destroy such evil people and entrust His vineyard to vine-growers, who would pay Him the proceeds by giving back to Him the fruits in their seasons.

Thirdly, as the Master Gardener, the Father removes the branches that are without fruit. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (Joh 15:2)

Fourthly, abiding in Christ is the only way to bear fruit, but those who fail to abide in Him are thrown away as a branch into the fire to be burned up. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” (Joh 15:6)

This agrees with the words of John the Baptist, who said, "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."  (Mat 3:10).

In Ezekiel Moses' Testimony of Heaven and Hell, he died and stood at the final judgment. He said that if the fruit of the Spirit is not complete in your life – all nine fruit – forget about heaven.  They are completed in holiness, since they are the fruit of the HOLY Spirit.  He said, “You must have complete holiness!” 

Fruit Produced as You Abide in Him
As I have just mentioned, fruit can only be produced as you abide in Him. The Lord said, "Apart from Him you can do nothing. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."  (Joh 15:4-5)

This aspect of abiding in Christ was Hudson Taylor's spiritual secret. Until he discovered it in the Word in John 15, he was unable to produce the fruit that God desired in his life, as a missionary to China. But once he discovered it and began to practice abiding, he found that he was able to produce good fruit. In his biography called, Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, there is a quote from a poem called The Friend, written by Gertrude of Hellfde in the year 1330, that says, "He told me of the River bright that flows from Him to me, that I might be for His delight a fair and fruitful tree." What a beautiful verse that is! The entire poem tells about the secret of abiding with the Lord Jesus, our Friend. I recommend reading it at this link.

Abiding is all about God's love. Jesus said, "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (Joh 15:12-13)

"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." (Joh 15:9-10)

The reason we cannot produce good fruit apart from Jesus is that it is the fruit "of the Spirit". It is the Spirit's fruit, not ours! When we produce fruit, it is evidence of the Spirit's presence in our lives. That is the only power in which Christians really can do their work. The word "of" means "from or out of; proceeding from, as the cause, source, means, author or agent bestowing." Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit comes from and proceeds from the Holy Spirit, who is the Source of it and the Agent bestowing it.

Yet there is a crucial role that we each have in bearing fruit. While the fruit comes from the Spirit, the River bright that flows from Him to me, as I abide in Him, there is still an active role that I must play. In my article, The Wardrobe of the Saints, I explained that the fruit of the Spirit are among the garments of righteousness the saints must put on each day and wear at all times. It is our responsibility to do so. The expressions "clothe yourself," "adorn yourself," "put on," are all actions that we must personally take (Col 3:12-14; Rom 13:12,14; 1 Thes 5:8; ; 1 Ti 2:9-10; 1 Pe 5:5; Rev 3:18). They are not automatically done for us and are not a one-time occurrence. I strongly recommend reading that article on the Christian wardrobe for the full understanding of my point.

Keys to Abiding in Christ
Please allow me to share some keys to abiding in Christ, which I myself am still learning to practice. Walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16). Walk humbly (Mic 6:8; Col 3:12; 1 Pe 5:5). Walk in love (Eph 5:2; 1 Cor 16:14). Do everything for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17). Keep His Words (Joh 14:15). Do all things as unto the Lord, not for men (Col. 3:23). Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thes. 5:8). Pray on all occasions (Eph. 6:18). Fix the eyes of your heart on Jesus (Heb. 12:2). Take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). By doing so, you will remain in God's presence as you go about your daily activities, which is known as practicing His presence. I have covered some of these in more depth in my other articles, Whatever You Do, Do All Like This, For the Glory of God Alone, Holding Fast the Faithful Word, Keeping a Good Conscience, Practicing the Presence of the Lord, and Obedience by the Spirit.

Fruit In Every Season
Here on earth, fruit trees usually bear their crop during a particular season of the year. And each fruit tree bears only one kind of fruit. However, in heaven, the tree of life bears twelve crops of fruit, one for each month. So it is always bearing fruit.

The apostle John wrote, "Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." (Rev 22:1-2)

This agrees with the words of the prophet Ezekiel, who wrote, "By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing." (Eze 47:12)

Putting it All Together
God desires fruit! We can see from the trees in heaven that He likes fruit in every season. It's fair to look upon and sweet to the taste. But it only comes as we abide in Christ, so let's do that. May He find us fruitful when He inspects our lives, and not find us to be without any fruit.

Let's ask ourselves some closing questions. What do we do if we are not bearing fruit? Repent. What do you do if you are already bearing fruit? Ask the Lord to help you bear more fruit. Pray earnestly for all nine fruit of the Spirit. What can we do to ensure we bear fruit? Abide in Him.  Walk in the Spirit. What does the Lord need to do to help you bear more fruit? Prune you. What does pruning involve? Cutting away of the parts of us that do not produce fruit, so that the parts that do can be more fruitful. Is this a painless process? No. It is not without pain, hardship, and difficulty.

As Andrew Murray once stated: "Do let us believe that as the owner of a vine does everything to make the fruitage as rich and large as possible, the divine Husbandman will do all that is needed to make us bear more fruit. All He asks is, that we set our heart's desire on it, entrust ourselves to His working and care, and joyfully look to Him to do His perfect work in us. God has set His heart on more fruit; Christ waits to work it in us; let us joyfully look up to our divine Husbandman and our heavenly Vine, to ensure our bearing more fruit."

The prophet Isaiah wrote, “In that day --- sing about a fruitful vineyard.  I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it.” (Isaiah 27:2-3). Therefore, let us sing about a fruitful vineyard, which is what we should be. And let us remember that the Lord watches over us as we abide in Him, and waters us continually. He guards us day and night so that no one may harm His fruitful vineyard.

Attribution Notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. Culinary fruit photo by Bill Ebbesen. Courtesy Wikimedia.

Author's note: If you would like to be equipped to become a fruitful disciple for God's glory, please consider enrolling in our international Doulos Training School. You are invited to read the companion poem to this message written by my eighteen year old daughter Charity Lacroix, called Fruit in Every Season, as well as my articles, The Wardrobe of the Saints, Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit: What's the Difference?, Baptized with the Spirit, The River of God, Led by the Spirit, Obedience by the Spirit, Whatever You Do, Do All Like This, For the Glory of God Alone, Holding Fast the Faithful Word, Keeping a Good Conscience, Practicing the Presence of the Lord, Faith Works!, Ezekiel Moses' Testimony of Heaven and Hell, Multiplication, The Kingdom of God is Like This, Living a Life Worthy of the Lord, Pleasing the Lord, Aim for Perfection, The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer, Being a Witness for Christ, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, and Covenant Prayer. You may find more articles about being fruitful and multiplying on the Home Page of this blog. You may also find my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Multiplication Illustrations

Linen seed
As a supplement to my article on Multiplication, I would like to present the following illustrations to help you see the power of multiplication with regard to making disciples and church growth.

Illustration 1 – Each One Reaches One, Each Church Plants One
In the table below, we begin with twelve disciples on the left side in 2016. And if each one reaches one person per year, then the number of disciples doubles each year, so that at the end of fifteen years there are 196,608 disciples.

Likewise on the right-hand column (which has no direct correlation to the middle column), we see what would happen if each church planted one church each year. The number of churches would double each year, resulting in 16,384 churches at the end of fifteen years.



Multiplication Factor of Two

Year
Number of disciples
Multiplication factor
Number of churches
1
2016
                            12
2
                               1
2
2017
                            24
2
                               2
3
2018
                            48
2
                               4
4
2019
                            96
2
                               8
5
2020
                          192
2
                              16
6
2021
                          384
2
                              32
7
2022
                          768
2
                              64
8
2021
                       1,536
2
                            128
9
2022
                       3,072
2
                            256
10
2023
                       6,144
2
                            512
11
2024
                     12,288
2
                         1,024
12
2025
                     24,576
2
                         2,048
13
2026
                     49,152
2
                         4,096
14
2027
                     98,304
2
                         8,192
15
2028
                    196,608
2
                       16,384













                                Multiplication Factor of Three

Year
Number of disciples
Multiplication factor
Number of churches
1
2016
                            12

                               1
2
2017
                            36

                               3
3
2018
                          108

                               9
4
2019
                          324

                              27
5
2020
                          972

                              81
6
2021
                       2,916

                            243
7
2022
                       8,748

                            729
8
2021
                     26,244

                         2,187
9
2022
                     78,732

                         6,561
10
2023
                    236,196

                       19,683
11
2024
                    708,588

                       59,049
12
2025
                 2,125,764

                      177,147
13
2026
                 6,377,292

                      531,441
14
2027
               19,131,876

                   1,594,323
15
2028
               57,395,628

                   4,782,969


In the second table above, we begin with twelve disciples on the left side in 2016. And if each one reaches two persons per year, then the number of disciples triples each year, so that at the end of fifteen years there are 57,395,628.

Likewise on the right-hand column, we see what would happen if each church planted two churches each year, then the number of churches would triple each year, resulting in 4,782,969 churches at the end of fifteen years.

Illustration 2 – A Penny Doubled
Would you rather have $1 Million now or take a penny and double it every day for 30 days? Once you have answered that question, take a look at the table below.


Day Number
Amount at
Beginning of Day
Amount at
End of Day
1
$0.01
$0.02
2
$0.02
$0.04
3
$0.04
$0.08
4
$0.08
$0.16
5
$0.16
$0.32
6
$0.32
$0.64
7
$0.64
$1.28
8
$1.28
$2.56
9
$2.56
$5.12
10
$5.12
$10.24
11
$10.24
$20.48
12
$20.48
$40.96
13
$40.96
$81.92
14
$81.92
$163.84
15
$163.84
$327.68
16
$327.68
$655.36
17
$655.36
$1,310.72
18
$1,310.72
$2,621.44
19
$2,621.44
$5,242.88
20
$5,242.88
$10,485.76
21
$10,485.76
$20,971.52
22
$20,971.52
$41,943.04
23
$41,943.04
$83,886.08
24
$83,886.08
$167,772.16
25
$167,772.16
$335,544.32
26
$335,544.32
$671,088.64
27
$671,088.64
$1,342,177.28
28
$1,342,177.28
$2,684,354.56
29
$2,684,354.56
$5,368,709.12
30
$5,368,709.12
$10,737,418.24

As you can see in the illustration above if your penny doubles each day, you begin with one penny on day one, but by the end of 30 days, you have $10,737,418.24. That's almost eleven million dollars! So you end up with much more money by doubling a penny each day than if you settle for the one million dollars on day one.

You see, if you take the one million dollars on day one, you are simply adding that amount one time. But if you multiply instead of adding, and you are willing to wait for 30 days, then you end up doing much better in the end.

Think of how this applies to making disciples. Would you rather just add 100 disciples on day one, or would you rather start with one or two disciples and multiply them each year?

Illustration 3 - Minimum Fruitfulness Level
Jesus taught that the minimum fruitfulness level for those who accept the Word is 30-fold increase, or 3000%.

He said: "The sower sows the word. These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word, which has been sown in them. In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." (Mar 4:14-20)

While the Lord taught that some will have a hundredfold increase, we know that not everyone is going to achieve that level. But what would it be like if every disciple had at least a 30-fold increase every year? The entire world would be reached with the gospel in 7 years, as the table below illustrates.

30-fold Increase or 3,000%


Year Number of disciples Multiplication Factor
1 2016 12 3000%
2 2017 360 3000%
3 2018 10,800 3000%
4 2019 324,000 3000%
5 2020 9,720,000 3000%
6 2021 291,600,000 3000%
7 2022 8,748,000,000 3000%

The chart above illustrates that you could begin with twelve disciples and have 8.7 billion disciples at the end of seven years.

Illustration 4 - One Out of Four Disciples Fruitful
But as we see in the passage above, the Lord taught that not all the seeds would even bear any fruit at all. There were the ones sown beside the road, the ones sown on rocky places, and the ones sown among thorns that all failed to bear any fruit for the Lord. Only the ones sown on good soil became fruitful. He said that only "the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil...hear the word and accept it and bear fruit..." (Mar 4:20)

Therefore, some believe Jesus taught in this passage that only one out of every four seeds sown would bear fruit, while the other three would not last.  I believe there is a lot of truth to that, and my experience has proven that very few of those in whom the seed of the Word is sown actually bear any fruit. In my estimation, it seems like a small percentage ever bear fruit, and it's easy for me to believe that it could be 25% or less. So let’s apply that assumption to our previous illustration above. This time we will only allow one out of every four disciples to bear any fruit, and they will only bear 30-fold increase, not the maximum 100-fold increase that is actually possible.

In the following table, the middle column represents the number of disciples at the beginning of each year, but due to attrition as the Lord described, we retain only one-fourth of those disciples at the end of each year. We will call them the remnant. However, since the remnant are multiplying at a rate of 3,000 percent or thirty-fold, there will still be an increase by the beginning of the following year. Observe the growth that would still occur:

30-fold Increase or 3,000%

Year Number of disciples
at Beginning of Year
Fruitful Disciples
by End of Year
(1 out of 4)
1 2016 12 3
2 2017 90 23
3 2018 675 169
4 2019 5,063 1,266
5 2020 151,875 37,969
6 2021 1,139,063 284,766
7 2022 8,542,969 2,135,742
8 2023 64,072,266 16,018,066
9 2024 480,541,992 120,135,498
10 2025 3,604,064,941 901,016,235
11 2026 27,030,487,061 6,757,621,765
12 2027 202,728,652,954 50,682,163,239

By the end of eleven years (2026) there would be 6.7 billion disciples, as the chart above illustrates. Since the earth's entire population is about 7 billion people, then if this sort of multiplication occurred, there could potentially be as many disciples as there are people on the planet before the end of the twelfth year (2027).

Putting it All Together
I hope that these simple illustrations have helped you understand that the Lord wants us to multiply and not add. I hope I've given you a vision and a passion for multiplication. Every disciple must be making disciples, thus multiplying themselves. As each one is being fruitful and multiplying, all the people in the world will ultimately be reached in a relatively short period of time. They would all have an opportunity to hear the gospel and either become one of the three seeds that bear no fruit at all, or become one of the seeds sown on good soil that bears fruit thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.

This is why our ministry, Doulos Missions International, places such a great emphasis on each believer becoming a disciple and then multiplying disciples. Our goal is not to fill buildings with believers, but to make disciples. After all, this is what Jesus commanded us, saying to go and make disciples of all the nations.

Attribution Notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: If you would like to be equipped to become a multiplying disciple for God's glory, please consider enrolling in our international Doulos Training School. You are invited to read Multiplication, The Kingdom of God is Like This, Being a Witness for Christ, The Sin of Silence, Give Me Children or I'll Die!, Baptized with the Spirit, and Covenant Prayer. You may find more articles about being fruitful and multiplying on the Home Page of this blog. You may also find my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.