Jun 12, 2019
In Chp 4 - June 10-17
Boy, chapter 4 comes in swinging, swinging fiercely, when McNabb declares team evangelism "the most important thing you can do if you want to multiply" (pg 62). And it's difficult not to concede the point. How do/will churches deny this? This blow makes contact. Now, personally, I had questions about some of the foundational stuff, but once McNabb's case is followed through, the case he's making appears strong. That strength, though, makes me wonder. So, my question is: why (putting wishy-washy churches aside) haven't supposedly "gospel-centered, Bible-believing, prayer saturated" churches widely figured this out yet? Has this simply somehow never occurred to them, or is there deeper unwellness in that soil?
Jun 03, 2019
In Chp 3, June 3-9
After noting a concerning pattern of decline of multiplication in the post-graduation ministry of many who had seen success as students doing campus ministry, McNabb provides a few of his early theories seeking an explanation for the problem. I'll share the explanitive hypothesis that I'd lean toward initially presuming: McNabb noticed these difficulties in the context of campus ministry, so I'd tend to think in many cases the multiplication culture, if you will, is reliant, unfortunately, on being propped up by the campus ministry environment itself. A campus ministry involved student is likely to have recently been discipled, to see his/her peers engaged in discipling, to hear the vision for discipleship repeated continually, to feel the pressure of college ending, and to have a sense of deep camaradie within a community that regularly works, plays, and holds to account it's members as part of a unified sense of mission. The average church these type of students land in post-graduation likely just doesn't achieve a comparable atmosphere. Am I misled, do you think? The coming chapters might well cover some of these issues. I'm curious to see.
Jun 02, 2019
In Chp 2 - May 27- June 2
I'll leave discussion of the beautiful Isaiah passage to others, and merely note that upon the foundations of last chapter, here is presented the model of multiplication which this book will cement and refine. The idea, summarily, is that given real faith that God calls us to act and to trust that he can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, we are promised spiritual progeny in multitudes, enabled by exponential mathematics. I'm curious to have the full picture of how successful reproduction is judged. I wonder what are the limits of weighing the vibrancy of faith by how quickly it spreads. Questions: Will weak faith with dedication to a good method reliably multiply? Will deep faith without intention to method reliably multiply? Mathematically, if just ONE person faithfully and successfully began this discipleship pattern today, discipling just one new person each year, and if he or she faithfully taught all of these disciples to continue that pattern, then, at least by numbers, it would be possible to disciple the entire currently living population of the world in just 33 years (because 2 taken to the 33rd power is over eight billion). Now, surely there have been many dedicated and faith-filled people working at this goal over the past few decades in countries the world over—or no? Why are we so behind schedule? Is this a failure of message, of method, or of measurement? I do expect McNabb will address this to some extent as we proceed.
Jun 01, 2019
In Chp 1 - May 20-26
How did you all contend with the concept of "born to multiply"—of the meaning in spiritual multiplication? McNabb explains, "We were born to multiply. Our salvation doesn't just deliver us from our sins. It also sets us free from living meaningless lives. That's the good news! That's the gospel" (pg 23). At first consideration, this struck me as extreme. Here's where I'm at: I follow McNabb readily where he says that disciples are called to make disciples, and where he notes that the design and destiny of the church is to arise in the end as an omni-lingual, globally confederate multitude. Two hefty questions linger for me though: Firstly, is multiplication really the core of God's calling and our meaning in this life? And secondly, is Abraham's promise really applied recursively, setting abundance-in-offspring as the primary reward of faith for all time? (Of course, some are not even given the chance—the thief on the cross was denied any kids, I guess.) I ask because I'm prone to believe 1) that knowing and being conformed to Christ and the Father who sent him is of supreme value, and is a reward unto itself. And 2) that the essential mandate of the church is to maintain and deepen a love-bound union of self-sacrificing, interdependent members, under the headship of Christ, which again is an end worthy of itself. Out of this I tend to view extending growth, that being multiplication, as a natural—nay, even necessary—outflowing of life abundant, but not to be considered a source or even the central aspect of life or of life's meaning, even here and now. Along these lines, can spiritual lineage actually frame all of our present sanctification, or be an engine for all of our present faith, hope, and love? ~ What did y'all notice here?