Are you a spiritual multiplier?

 

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Are you a spiritual multiplier?

Every Christian should be a spiritual multiplier.  Sadly, our churches and ministries are full of Christians who are not multiplying their lives into others.  You won’t find the term “spiritual multiplier” in the Bible.  It’s a phrase that modern day Christians have come up with to try and accurately describe how Christians should be striving to live out the Great Commission  (Matthew 28:19-20) in their lives.  Spiritual multiplication is the heartbeat of Bama Cru…we long to see every student involved in our ministry be a multiplier.  So as you read this article, I encourage you to do some self-assessment…are you a spiritual multiplier?  If not, what needs to change in your heart, mind, and lifestyle in order for you to become one?  

A simple definition of a spiritual multiplier:

A spiritual multiplier is someone who is seeking to grow in Christ and pass on to others the foundational concepts of the Christian life they are receiving. 

This is lived out in 4 distinct ways:

If we are to be spiritual multipliers, then the foundation of our lives must be our love for Christ and our connection to Him.  (John 15:1-11)  Howard Hendrix once said, “You cannot impart to others what you do not possess.”  It is foolish for us to think that we can impart to others a love for Christ if we are not first firmly connected to Him.  When we are connected to Him we find our joy and our satisfaction, our identity and our self-worth in Him; and then it becomes a natural overflow to lead others to the source of our fulfillment.

Being connected to Christ means that we are surrendered to Him not only as our Savior, but also as our Lord.  Therefore, a surrendered life produces a Christ-like life.  As we grow in our love for Him, we grow in our desire to please Him (John 14:15).  We become lovers of God’s Word, lovers of holiness and righteousness, lovers of intimate prayer and communion with Him, and lovers of His people. 

When we are abiding in Christ our lives will reflect it—we will grow in godly character, both in our inward thoughts and desires and in our outward expressions.  So we begin to desire the things that He desires—things that are holy and pleasing to Him, things that are righteous and pure, things that are eternal, things that bring Him glory, etc. (1 John 2:15-17). As we stay connected to Christ, He deals with our hearts and changes them to be in tune with His heart (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The Christian life isn’t about learning to modify our behavior.  It’s about daily surrendering our lives to Christ and allowing Him to change our hearts so that what we express outwardly is an overflow of what we are experiencing inwardly.  (Philippians 1:27)

If we are to be spiritual multipliers, then we must be repentant before God and before others.  The reality is that even though we may stay consistently connected to Christ; we will still regularly fail and struggle with sin in our lives.  Through faith in Christ, God graciously forgives us of all our sins.  And not only does He forgive our sins but He actually declares us to be righteous before Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).  Although God views us as being righteous now, we won’t fully attain this righteousness until we are with God in heaven.  Sin still remains in our flesh and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we must daily fight sin and pursue holiness (Galatians 5:16-17 and 1 Peter 1:15-16).  In the times that we fail in our pursuit of holiness, we must be quick to repent and confess our sins to God and to others (James 5:16 and 1 John 1:9).  Our confession and repentance accomplishes three things: (1) It restores communion and fellowship with God and allows us to experience His forgiveness and grace (2) It restores communion and fellowship with those who have been wronged and (3) It demonstrates to others our deep need for Christ.  In Christ we are free…not free to sin but free to be honest and vulnerable about our struggles (Romans 5-7).  We help each other run to Christ when we are honest, open, and vulnerable with others about the struggles and shortcomings in our lives.  As spiritual multipliers we should be transparent and real people as we invest in those that God has put into our lives—so that they may know that we don’t base our acceptance before God on our performance but on the work of Christ, His death and resurrection.  Like Paul, we should boast only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14 and Philippians 3:2-11).  So as sin is a reality in our daily lives, repentance should be a reality in our daily lives as well. 

If we are to be spiritual multipliers, then we must be committed to being developed as a Christian and as a spiritual leader.  A spiritual multiplier is someone who seeks out opportunities to be sharpened and refined by others.  In other words, if we are to be spiritual multipliers, then we must be faithful, available, and teachable—open to suggestions and criticism—knowing that the suggestions and criticisms are being offered out of love and concern.  As described above, none of us have it together…none of us have “arrived”.  Therefore, as we seek to develop others, we need to be committed to letting others develop us.  We should even pursue it!  This means that we invite safe people into our lives to speak truth to us so that we can discover our “blind spots” (sin issues and areas of development in our lives that we aren’t aware of.)  Safe people are people that we can trust…people who care for us and love us to the extent that they are willing to communicate hard truths to us so that we may become mature followers of Christ.  Biblical examples of this type of relationship: Paul and Timothy (1 and 2 Timothy), Nathan spoke truth to David (2 Samuel 12), Paul spoke truth to Peter (Galatians 2:11-14).

If we are to be spiritual multipliers, then we must be willing to take steps of faith to influence others for Christ.  This is what makes a spiritual multiplier a multiplier!  We seek to multiply our lives and our love for Christ into the lives of those around us.  We need to see that our calling as a Christian to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) is of more importance than our comfort. As we grow in our love for Christ, we should likewise grow in our desire for others to know and experience Christ in the same way.  Therefore, we desire to love others in such a way that we are willing to step out of our comfort zones and trust God to use us to bring the good news of Christ to our friends (Acts 20:24).  This means that we seek to meet people where they are, on their turf and in their comfort zones.  This is not at all to suggest that we sin with them (Galatians 5:13), for holiness is still our aim in all that we do; but we simply seek to reach them where they are and not pressure them to come to where we are. (1 Corinthians 9:16-23)  This is the idea of incarnational ministry versus attractional ministry.  As spiritual multipliers, we should be seeking to incarnate our lives into the lives around us by being Jesus to people in their context of life rather than by trying to attract them to our context of life (Mark 2:15-17).  If our idea of spiritual multiplication is primarily focused on whom we can get to attend our Christian meetings or church services, then we are gravely missing the example that Jesus gave us throughout Scripture as He consistently connected with people on their turf.  

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