[mathematical parable]

[mathematical parable]

Last Friday, our youth pastor shared his vision with us. It was late, about 12AM (we had a prayer meeting at his place), but the minds were alert.

“Imagine you had a Church. The first year, you got a 1,000 members. The next year, you got a 1,000 more, which makes your Church consist of 2,000 members. One more year has passed and another 1,000 has joined your pews. In 33 years, if you will follow this progression – how many members will you get?”

“33,000,” we answered. In my mind, that Church in 33 years was so huge… 33,000 people. Granted, I am not a fan of huge Churches (nothing against them, I just prefer smaller Churches that feel like a family…)

“Do you think that Church would be considered successful?” he asked.

We glanced at each other. “Well… 33,000 members…”

“Okay. Then let’s think of another scenario. What if you have 2 people… who will each teach someone else. Then those four will each teach other four people… In 33 years, whose Church will be bigger? The first one that gained a 1,000 every year or this one that started with two people?”

We reached for our cell phones to calculate 2 ^ 33 degree.

“8,589,934,592 members. That’s what the Church will be in 33 years if each one of you would teach someone else and your students will become teachers afterwards. It will be even bigger because there are 10 of us instead of 2.”

We all sat astounded at the numbers. For me, however, it wasn’t the numbers that impressed me. What impressed me was that it is all built on personal relationships. Those 8.6 billion people (more than there are people on earth at the moment) will get to know Christ through an established relationship.

Discipleship.

I believe in that strategy. Jesus knew it was true – that’s why He chose 12 disciples (when He could’ve been satisfied with thousands that listened to Him) – to nurture them and their faith so that they could nurture others after He went back home.

It is so easy to get excited about big numbers – 1,000 every year – not too bad. Nurturing one person at a time takes a lot more time. Yet, this is where you have to decide:

QUALITY or QUANTITY

If you would have quality, then quantity will rise.

If you would only have quantity, there would be no point because the quality would diminish.

What are your thoughts about this?

  • Alexander

    It is important to pass this vision to a new christians, so doubling will continue 🙂

    • Yep – something that is lacking often in Churches these days.

  • j4man

    It is a fantastic idea and it is I believe how the early church grew so fast – people were teaching and leading people and as you see the numbers are exponential . Thoughtful post and idea! Thanks Zee
    My recent post Desires of the Heart

    • yeah, it was incredible to think that in mere 33 years 8 billions can find out the Good News! the only thing that is necessary is our dedication.

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