Build multiplication into the design

Jerusalem Artichokes have multiplication built into their stem system

Do you recognize this tuber? The Jerusalem artichoke is a relative of the sunflower. Multiplication is built into this plant, as every node along the thickened stem can produce another tuber, up to 200 per plant! We harvested over 7 lbs. of tubers from about 10 plants that grew from pieces left in the ground.

What would it take to build this kind of multiplication into discipleship?

Three things:
A simple plan: Something not too complicated, that does not require advanced degrees, expensive buildings or experts to carry out. It has to be simple to explain while submitting to the greatness of God.
The right genetics: Genetics are very complicated but fortunately we don’t have to understand them, in order for them to work. They just must be built in. The multiplication potential belongs to every believer in Christ just as it belongs to every tuber. “The smallest one will become a clan” (Isaiah 60:22) is a promise from the Scriptures that has motivated me for years. The Lord promises even to “hasten it in its time”. Just as DNA quietly does its genetic work and the power is in the seed, so the Promises of God accomplish what God intends. There is nothing to control or manipulate. All the plant needs to do is grow and the DNA does the rest.
It must be personal and relational: It has to fit us personally allowing for the unique expression of our own story. No two tubers look alike but you can tell they belong to the same family. It must be Jim-ish and John-ish, and Naomi-ish as we follow Jesus together. It allows for stages of development. It takes into account our context and history. It prioritizes the authentic connections around us to allow us to live life in Jesus and invite others to join us. The simple, personal, promise-based disciple-making experience needs to be named, personalized and lived. Will you join me?