All of us make investment decisions daily. We choose where and how to invest our time, energy, and money. We choose to invest it for self, others, or some combination. Maturing Christians seek God’s leadership for each decision.
We all want the greatest return possible. We want jobs with the greatest rewards (monetary and fulfillment). Our favorite meetings are those where we make the most progress in the least amount of time. We make decisions about going to the gym or skipping based on time and energy.
Disciple-making investments likewise involve decisions about time, energy, and money. We desire to make the greatest investment to achieve the most impact in the least amount of time. But disciple-making can be counter-intuitive.
Evangelist Mordecai Ham, a native of Allen County, Kentucky, preached a revival series in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1934, when Billy Graham was a teenager living nearby. Through that revival, Graham accepted Christ and impacted millions around the globe. While we tend to give more attention to the the person who impacted more people, it all started with Mordecai Ham.
Keep in mind our Lord’s own example. While He preached to large groups, He focused His time on twelve disciples. His example was intentional. And the impact of those disciples multiplied Jesus’ investment far beyond His preaching to the masses.
Again, we desire to make the greatest investment with the least amount of time, energy, and money. So why would we not choose methods which involve scores or hundreds? While the Word will not return void, often some seeds fall on difficult soil when we try to disciple the masses (the same can happen occasionally when discipling one person or a few).
What if your investment in one person every six months for 16.5 years could lead to the salvation and discipleship of every person on the planet? It can! In fact, if you led one person to become a multiplying disciple, and then the two of you each led one person to become multiplying disciples, and that was repeated during every six months for those 16.5 years, a total of 8,589,934,593 people would have accepted Jesus and become His disciples (including yourself). That is more than the world’s current population of 7.67 billion people.
Investing in a few can pay rich dividends. We are not all evangelists. But we all have a testimony, a Bible, and the Holy Spirit to help us disciple one person every six months. And if you still have an itch to invest faster, you could always invest in 2-3 at the same time occasionally.
Pastor, you and your church CAN make disciples of all nations. Christian, your disciple-making can change the world. Be a disciple-maker. Start small. Do it right. Multiply. Make disciples who make disciples!