This is a followup to a previous post, 7 Things We’ve Learned in Seven Years. I want to unpack the first principle that God has shown us as we’ve walked the journey of disciple-multiplying movement ministry:
You take care of the depth of your ministry, and let God take care of the breadth of your ministry.
My first child hood memory was my Dad abandoning me at the orphanage. My Mom had died as the result of a house fire, and I had no family willing to take me in. My Father was a merchant seaman and chose to continue in that career which necessitated my care being delegated to the orphanage.
I mention this story in conjunction with unpacking the first principle because I learned at a young age how to be a producer. I learned to achieve, to get things done. Once coming to faith I still applied that same ethic. After being trained by Curtis Sergeant I went home to Tampa and started 63 groups in just a few months and trained others to produce as well. We had hundreds of groups within two years.
That was my single biggest mistake.
The commandment Jesus gave to us is to make disciples, not to produce groups. One day I heard Jesus say, “Do you trust me?” I replied quickly, “Lord you know I trust you!” What then flashed into my mind were all the things I was doing that Jesus had never told me to do.
When I stopped doing those things and began to focus on the few things God was impressing upon me to engage in, real fruit began to occur locally and globally. Intimacy with God is the foundation for everything. We are meant to bear fruit from that relational intimacy, not produce fruit apart from it.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3 KJV)
This is when the church in my home with my wife Stacy was birthed. That same home church continues to this day. It is an autonomous, self-governing, self-sufficient, self-propagating church that is part of a city church comprised of others operating the same way—out of an intimate oneness with God. We began to dwell together in unity as redeemed image bearers. This is where the “micro-to-macro” expression of the church came from in our lives.
“I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:23)