Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
By: Byron Vaughn, Planting Pastor, VIDA Church
May 18, 2018
I recently was at a table with others who were planting and pastoring churches among minority and immigrant groups at an HCPN Gathering. The day focused on developing a culture of multiplication in our churches, of releasing and sending people out into God’s mission. I remember the response of those at the table to the speaker: “Well sure, that’s easy to talk about when you’re working in an affluent majority group context!”
The cards are stacked against multiplication behaviors in some pastors serving minority and immigrant group congregations. Why? Because a scarcity of resources can seem to threaten a leader and his church. The few stable, resourced families he has often seem to be the only reason the electricity has not been cut off and the doors haven’t been shut. Fellow churches can easily feel like competition in this context. Pastors often do not develop and empower other leaders because of the real possibility they will tear people away from the church.
But truth be told, we all have our issues. Where resources abound, success can be just as big of an obstacle. Whether our church is prospering or we just want it to, growing our church can work against multiplication. Are we really going to gut our churches of our most faithful givers and most gifted leaders to see God’s mission advance? The pull is strong to focus on our church’s growth rather than the expansion of God’s Kingdom.
Regardless of whether the enemy tries to use scarcity or success to hamstring our particular church, to see a revival of multiplication we are going to have to press hard into what the Lord has actually commissioned us to do: To multiplydisciples and churches to the ends of the earth. This requires empowering others, releasing them and sending them. We’ll never do this until we value God’s Kingdom over our own. As Bruce Wesley expresses it, “You must die to multiply.”
Lord Jesus, help us die. You have taught us that “...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Help us die to multiply. And in the process, let our people become enflamed with the passion of participating in your mission, regardless of what that will mean for us. For your Kingdom’s sake, Amen.