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Multiply Stories

Jim and Betty with Their Small Groups

From our friends at Shattered Magazine comes the story of Jim Warren, the executive director of David Platt’s resource ministry, Radical.

Jim has the same story as all believers – he once was lost but now is found. And though this basic template of redemption in Christ remains constant, each “found” person fills it in with their own unique, providential journey. Check out Jim’s story and see God’s glory on display in the life of a man whose success shifted from being worldly to being heavenly, from being temporal to being eternal.

In the words of article writer Mitch Eubank, “When we hear a story like Jim Warren’s, let us not only be encouraged by his truly radical steps of faith, but more importantly, let us be drawn into the worship of our great God; the same God who chooses to use helpless sinners in His great plan of redeeming a people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.”

Read the entire story HERE.

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Multiply EmblemSince the Multiply Gatherings last year, God has been working in people’s lives all over the world. This working is happening in a variety of ways through a variety of people. For some, it has brought much fruit as they seek to share and teach the gospel to people right around them in their community. For others, it has been wrought with difficulty and resistance. However, in all of these cases, the constant remains the same: God is drawing people to himself through Christ in nations all over the world, and here are a few of the joys and struggles experienced in the last year. We hope this brings encouragement, yet much prayer and preparation as November 8 is drawing near.

“I’m a missionary in South Africa and my wife and I are going through the Multiply material with 13 youth leaders here, meeting weekly in our house. These leaders are beginning to multiply and disciple our local youth and family members. Awesome to see disciples making disciples!”
– Chris, South Africa

“I have begun going back to the pub that I frequent as an unbeliever and have decided to turn what I enjoy recreationally, watching the Chicago Bears, into ministry. I am working on building relationships with unbelievers there with the common ground of Da Bears. I have had greater difficulty with encouraging believers to make disciples. I have been working on beginning my disciple making myself.”
– Ian, Round Lake Beach, IL

“There’s the challenge of having to reach my campus alone. Getting med students to commit to ANYTHING is like herding cats. I think because so much of our schedule is forced upon us we react by being noncommittal to all else. So anything involving commitment/setting goals, whether sharing the gospel, discipling others, or even just showing up for a discipleship meeting, has been a big challenge to overcome.”
– Shane, Little Rock, AR

“I met a man in a nutrition club where we both go to exercise. We began a friendship. He shared with me that he and his live in girlfriend are raising their son and wish they had some guidelines/help. He and another Christian friend of mine had several talks about life, which led naturally into conversations about God. Then he was invited to our church. After attending several weeks in a row, he began to have serious questions about faith since he grew up with no spiritual guidance. The conversation eventually turned into an opportunity to share Christ’s love with him and offer him salvation. He prayed to receive Christ as his Savior.”
– Todd, Jackson, MI

“You do not need the ‘right’ words or to be an outgoing person. I am a very shy and reserved person. Every time I am meeting with someone or working at the soup kitchen I pray to be filled with the Spirit and every time, EVERY time, He takes over and great things happen. When people talk about the way I am able to engage with people I always say, ‘This is not me; this is all God!’”
– Lindsay, Pottstown, PA

“Sometimes people aren’t ready to hear the good news of how God can transform their lives. In those instances, I have to walk away and know that I planted a seed and now I have to leave the rest up to God. That is very difficult with people close to me because I don’t want to see them hurt anymore. But I have to let the Holy Spirit do his job.”
– Jane, Birmingham, AL

“A young lady from China actually became engaged in Christianity and our local outreach to international students. She was encouraged by others, and my role was that of a Paul to Timothy. I intentionally met with her to encourage her, hold her accountable and teach/share more about Christ through His Word.”
– Angela, Serbia

Those are just a few examples of fruit and struggles experienced since last year’s Multiply Gatherings. Continue to pray that more stories of Christ’s power, grace and mercy begin to be told as a result of Multiply 2013. And as you pray, make sure you REGISTER TODAY for the free live stream of Friday’s Gathering and invite your friends to join!

Discouraged MultiplierIf, since the last Gathering, you can echo that sentiment, there are at least two ways of handling it. 1) Give up, or 2) learn from your shortcomings and recommit. Of course, we would urge you to embrace this latter response and be all the more diligent in your calling to make disciples this year. *

We don’t want your discouragement to lead to you not participating in the Multiply Gathering. Whether you are being tempted to give up or have already resolved to get back on your horse, the Gathering this Friday is sure to help. We don’t want to give you a guilt trip or discourage you further. In fact, you should know that you’re not alone. Take it from Mary in Alabama:

At work, I haven’t seen someone actually come to faith. They seem to be interested in what I believe, but aren’t willing to follow Christ… I wish I had more time for them.

Here are a couple others:

Not seeing fruit is really discouraging, but it’s probably because I don’t get on my knees as often as I should for my disciple. – Gabriella, NJ

I cry sometimes because I don’t know how to help some people. I feel guilt over missed opportunities and ways that I see I didn’t use the wisdom of Gd and relied on my own instead. – Bradley, GA

Our goal this Friday is to encourage you if you’re discouraged. So don’t let the fact that you haven’t made a disciple since the last Gathering keep you from participating in this one. It’s free, and you have only to gain from it. Although the registration process is super easy, don’t wait until Friday afternoon. We’d encourage you to take 60 seconds and REGISTER NOW.

* Note: We realize that even when faithful, there can be cases in which the people you have been sharing with reject the gospel. Not all cases in which there is little or no fruit are a result of personal shortcomings or unfaithfulness in disciple-making.

“Just do something.”  Those words where ringing in my ears as I took my seat on the plane from Beijing to Tokyo.  I conveniently changed seats with one of my traveling companions, which put me in the unfortunate middle seat!  Not only did he subject me to the middle seat but he also made sure I was aware that God might use my new situation as a gospel opportunity.  This was obviously his way of making himself feel better!  I’m not sure he or I knew at the moment how prophetic that comment truly was.

I sat down with one thing on my already jet-lagged, sleep-deprived mind, “I just want to get some sleep.” Well, it turns out that God did have other plans for the three-hour plane ride.  Sleep would have to wait.  The seat beside me was soon occupied by Sam; a kind, friendly, and talkative individual from D.C. who works in the space industry.  Needless to say, based on his line of work, Sam is quite intelligent.  This is where those words “just do something” come into play.  About 24hrs earlier I sat and observed a Q&A with David and Francis in Beijing.  During that time they were asked some questions concerning making disciples and spreading the gospel.  To one question Francis gave a somewhat comical, but entirely serious answer, “just do something.”

As those words rang in my ears I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep on the plane.  I was going to do something and engage Sam with the gospel.  One simple question, “Are you are follower of Christ?” led to a three hour discussion of the Christian faith.  Sam asked me just about every hard question one can think to ask.  Over the next three hours I did the best I could to give evidence for the existence of God, to answer the problem of evil, and even to address whether or not Sam was going to hell apart from Christ.  It was not easy, and I know my answers were inadequate at times, but Sam politely listened.  I think I was given the opportunity to correct a lot of misunderstanding in Sam’s mind concerning Christianity, and even help offset the stereotype he had regarding Christians. For that I’m grateful. I’m grateful for Sam’s willingness to engage with me in conversation, and even appearing to be open to being wrong.  I’m grateful for what Francis said the day before that God used to compel me in this situation.

The reality is, I’ve been given this same opportunity many times, and many times I’ve gone to sleep or devised some other rationale for not doing something.  In this situation, by God’s grace, I did something. I can’t express the joy that comes with simply being obedient in that moment; a joy I’ve experienced many times but tend to easily forget. Do you feel stuck?  Do you feel like you don’t know where to begin? Let me urge you, just do something. You won’t regret it.

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This story was written by Cory, one of the members of the Multiply team traveling with David and Francis in Asia.

Join us on November 8 for Multiply.  We will live stream our gathering from Austin, TX.  It’s free and easy for churches, small groups, and families to participate.  Register by going to MultiplyMovement.com.

Francis, David, and the team have been privileged to meet with pastors and leaders from China and Japan this week.  Here are some of the pictures from their time in Asia thus far.  Please continue to be in prayer for them and for the Church in Asia as they are making disciples who are making disciples…

Register for Multiply in November  – If you haven’t registered for the Multiply Gathering from Austin, Texas, we encourage you to join us.  Registration is free and easy to do on our website.

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David preaching outside of Beijing, sharing how God has used the people of China to shape his life.

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House church leaders speaking with the team about the challenges that face the Church in China. The Church is growing due to evangelism but there is a great need for ongoing discipleship.

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David and Francis had the privilege to meet with many believers in Japan to encourage them through the Word and in prayer.

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It’s hard to believe that the Multiply live stream happened over eight months ago!  Our hope is that since November 2012, you’ve had many great opportunities to share the gospel, encourage others with truth, and work on those disciple-making relationships we all prayed for at the gathering.

However, as many of you may have already found, this isn’t always easy.  In fact, more times than not, it’s difficult.  Especially in the beginning.  Striking up conversations about the Lord, figuring out how to initiate an ongoing discipleship relationship, knowing how to address unfamiliar issues… it’s tough.  We can set out with the best of intentions and a solid plan that looks great on paper, but things don’t always happen like we would hope.

We want to know your story.  What are these hurdles that seem so high?  What are the struggles that you can’t seem to figure out how to tackle?  What successes have you had?  What have you figured out?  What can’t you seem to figure out?  How have you seen the Lord work?  Do you have any questions we may be able to help with?

We are so excited to gather together again on November 8th, and share great stories of God’s faithfulness with one another, as well as stories of difficult struggle. Continue in the good work, knowing that he who has called you is faithful!

As a quick note, we may use your story to help others in the future.  Comment below or post it on the Multiply Facebook page.