Jesus the Mathematician

Todd Wilson

Sometimes we make things harder than they need to be (or were intended to be). We choose to focus on the complexities instead of the simple questions that give us guardrails and guidance for how we live life and lead our churches.

When you want your team to do something, you look for the simplest, clearest way to communicate your goal. When my wife wants me to fix something in the house, she doesn’t mince words.

Jesus didn’t mince words either. When I read Scripture, I see no wiggle room in the fact that Jesus commanded us to make and multiply disciples. He was crystal clear! It’s not intended to be complex. In the simplicity of His strategy, Jesus knows that if we focus on making disciples the way He did, we will see Kingdom multiplication. If we cooperate with Him in this simple strategy, the Holy Spirit will produce the harvest.

The core of any multiplication movement is disciple making. It is the first and critical dimension of Kingdom multiplication. The question is simple: Are you producing biblical disciples who make disciples that plant churches that plant churches?

In our FREE eBook, Dream Big Plan Smart, we look at disciple making through the lens of adding disciples (making converts) and reproducing disciples. The pathways for adding disciples—connecting with people, introducing them to Jesus, and bringing them to a point of accepting Him as Lord—are the entry point to making disciples and Kingdom multiplication. The “adding” and the “making” work together. Those far from God become disciples who, in the process of becoming more mature disciples, naturally make disciples of others. Disciples who make disciples in the same way as Jesus—the master disciple maker—are the fuel of multiplication movements.

Disciples who make disciples in the same way as Jesus are the fuel of multiplication movements.

If each of us made a disciple every three years, and every three years those disciples continued to multiply—we could accomplish the Great Commission in our lifetime. That’s the power of multiplication. Biblical disciple making is the leverage for exponential multiplication. It’s called Great Commission math. Jesus is brilliant!

Unfortunately, we don’t always hear and embrace the simplicity of His command. Instead of focusing on disciple making as our core purpose that drives all of our programming, we tend to align our activities around other motives rooted in accumulation.

Without this first dimension—disciple making that multiplies and produces new communities of faith—we have little hope of moving the multiplication needle. We won’t see the number of reproducing churches in the United States increase from less than 4 percent to greater than 10 percent. And we’ll fall desperately short of Jesus’ call. When we don’t see new disciple-making churches birthed, we limit our future capacity for disciple making. We unintentionally stunt the Great Commission math.

If you sense dire urgency in my words, you’re correct. I’m all in, saying and doing everything I can to drive home this message. With every 1 percent increase in reproducing churches, millions of eternities will be forever changed.

In chapter 2 of Dream Big, I write specifically about this first dimension of disciple making and how it works with the other two dimensions (capacity building and mobilization) to produce Kingdom multiplication—what we call 3D Multiplication. I encourage you to download the book here and read at least the first three chapters.

We’ll also be talking about Jesus’ Acts 1:8 dream of a disciple-making movement this fall on our Dream Big Tour, which is stopping in Washington, D.C., Exponential West in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Houston.

I hope you’ll join us.

A disciple seeking to be a disciple maker,

Todd