If a church is to accomplish all that God has planned for them, they must rely on more than a few people doing the majority of the work. A church that is built on the strength of a few personalities or skills will crumble once those isolated components are gone.
To fulfill the Great Commission, a church must prioritize a multiplication mindset.
It’s a next person-up type of mentality. If we are called to make disciples, that means that we raise people up to do what God has called them to do, and, in some contexts, that might mean take our roles or responsibilities.
Ministry must include delegation.
Why can’t we succeed in delegation? Because we don’t trust anyone to do what we think we can do better. As if the pride of that sentiment wasn’t dangerous enough, it also limits how others can be used around us.
Jesus on Delegation
I think we could all agree that Jesus could probably do things better than his disciples. Yet he continued to give them opportunity even when they failed miserably.
After the disciples had watched Jesus defeat demonic activity and experienced Jesus’ training to do so, they were apparently unable to finish the job. So much so that a dad was a tattle-tell to their incapability of helping his son.
“I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”Luke 9:40
That had to be an embarrassing moment for the disciples AND Jesus. After all their exposure, education, and experience, they still could not do what he trained them to do.
Jesus helped the boy and gave them a talking to after the event, but the outlook must have been bleak.
What happened next?
He sent them out again.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.Luke 10:1
Do you mean to tell me that Jesus sent out the rejects who couldn’t get the job done the first time? You better believe it. My hopes would have been very small for that next trip. I’d worry that it would be another PR nightmare. What was the outcome?
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”Luke 10:17-18
Out of all the descriptors they could have given for their trip, did you catch what they said? “The demons were subject to us.” They succeeded where they failed at first. Jesus told them to get up, dust themselves off, and try again.
The power happened through them. The enemy was subject to them but by the power of Jesus. That’s a picture of ministry if I’ve ever seen one. Jesus’ perspective was incredible – the enemy that bested you last time was falling from the sky defeated.
What a picture! And what a beautiful reminder of Jesus’ multiplication mindset. Now there was not only one minister pushing back the darkness, but there were 73 of them! All because Jesus refused to be the only one responsible for the ministry.
If your vision for your ministry, church, or organization is perfectly sized for what you can do, what a small goal that must be!
Pray and prepare for something that will require a work of multiplication more than just rely on an individual. If you want to see great things happen, you must think outside of just what you can do.
Are you willing to multiply yourself? Are you willing to let them fall? I imagine that your first ministry assignment wasn’t perfect either. So get them out there, let them struggle, help them out, and get them back in the game again.
Don’t be afraid of the struggles. They often prepare us for what is coming. And if you only rely on yourself, you are not truly fulfilling the Great Commission. Instead of relying on yourself, who are you multiplying today?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.