Plant Churches in All Nations!
I had known for seventeen years that God had called me to plant churches in all the nations of the world. However, I also knew my personal limitations, which were many! I was perplexed and frustrated. I had this burning desire within me to see thousands, even millions of new churches planted throughout the world. But how? I was only one man. The idea of seeing millions of new churches started around the would was totally exhilarating to me, but it also seemed to be utterly impossible and totally out of reach! It was a classic case of "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41 Whenever I become frustrated or perplexed, I have learned to go to God in prayer, and to pour out my heart before him. During a prayer walk in 1995, I told the Lord, "I know you have called me to plant churches all over the world and I want to, Lord, but I'm only one man. How can I possibly do it?" The Lord immediately spoke to my heart two very simple but extremely profound words.
That's it! I knew I had the answer to this perplexing problem of how to fulfill God's call on my life. It hit me like a ton of bricks! It was so simple, and yet totally profound. It was so simple in fact, that I had totally overlooked it. Fact is, so has the vast majority of the body of Christ! We always complicate things and make things too hard, so we can't see the forest for the trees. Do you see what the Lord was trying to teach me? To do what he did. Take twelve men and train them. Multiply myself. Train twelve men to plant churches. Now I am no longer one, but twelve! Now teach those twelve men to also do the same thing. Take twelve! Multiply themselves. That is exactly what Paul did in Ephesus, he took twelve men and got the church going in that city. Acts 19:1-7 Now read what Paul told his disciple Timothy to do in II Timothy 2:2, " And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." Paul was teaching Timothy to teach faithful men, who could in turn, teach other faithful men, and so on. That's what the Lord was trying to teach me: to train faithful men, twelve faithful men to be exact! I could train those men to also "take twelve!" Then it would no longer be just 12, but 144 church planters! Then the 144 could also "take twelve!" It would no longer be just 144 church planters, but 1,728 church planters. If each of them would "take twelve" and train those twelve, there would then be 20,736 church planters around the world. So just how far can this multiplication go? Where would it end? What would be the number of completion?
The Number of Completion?
Have you ever noticed in your study of the scriptures that God seems to give special significance to certain numbers? Like the number forty, for example? When the great flood came, it rained for forty days and nights. The children of Israel wandered in the desert for forty years, and when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, he had been fasting for forty days. How about the number twelve? There were the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve spies sent into the land of Canaan, and the twelve disciples of Jesus. How about the number seven? Look with me at Genesis 2:1-2, "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. And on the seventh day God completed His work which He had done..." Seven is the number of completion! Now if I "take twelve" and train them to do likewise, and if we continue that multiplication to the number of completion (seven), the Lord will have 35,831,808 church planters throughout the world. If each one started a new church in his own neighborhood, that would place one life giving body of believers in every neighborhood of two hundred people in every nation of the world! Absolutely incredible!!! Try to imagine a neighborhood of two hundred people. A church planter and his family move into the neighborhood and plant a church right in the middle of it. He starts a simple church in his home, and begins to share the Good News with everyone in his neighborhood. Within a year or two, the whole neighborhood or village has heard the Gospel, and there are new disciples following hard after Jesus. They begin to come to the church planters house and break bread and fellowship with him and his family. They study God's Word together, pray together, learn how to walk in the Spirit, and how to love their neighbors by sharing their faith in Jesus Christ. Imagine this same scenario happening in nearly 36 million other neighborhoods around the world. Together we can do this. It's absolutely awesome!! Would you like to join us?