Key word: Multiplication. Increasing the boundaries of the Kingdom through training people who catch a vision and adapt their lifestyle to improve on and expand the possible. What greater joy is there than to see the student outrun the master and to plant a tree under whose shade you will never sit?
I sat with a young pastor in Bandundu Ville, a city of 100,000 in the interior of the DR Congo. He came here nine years ago, inheriting a congregation of thirty discouraged people. With his solid pastoral training he repaired the reputation of the church. Today there are three other congregations planted across this city with a combined attendance of over 1500. They have opened a school that serves more than 700 students, as well as a vocational training center. They will soon open a local credit union to provide small-scale business ﬁnancing. They are building the ﬁrst phase of a hospital to address the medical needs of the community. This pastor also serves as director of our Bible institute in this region. It is easy to see how partnering with him to multiply his example of hard work, persevering faith, and creativity will increase the boundaries of the Kingdom in his part of the world.
But the story does not end at the city limits of Bandundu Ville. You should have seen the spark in this young pastor’s eyes and hear the wheels of creative faith turning in his mind as we discussed how his local congregation could participate in the missionary mandate of crossing cultural barriers and building bridges of understanding to people far beyond their geographical reach. I witnessed the birth of a missionary movement that day. Yes, the key word is multiplication. Helping to send people where I cannot go and “enlarging the place of my tent” (Isa 54:2).
I visited the city of Goma, on the eastern border of the country, where an extension training center was established several years ago. I met with Pastor Theobald Mbissa and his wife, Rosine. After ﬁnishing his pastoral training, he planted a church in this city. To provide land for his new congregation, he gave his own building lot. I attended a Sunday-morning service where the people met under a tarp-covered wooden framework as they built the permanent structure. After only one year this church counts more than 250 attending on Sunday morning. When people are properly trained, they do not wait for perfect circumstances. They move by faith in harmony with the Spirit of God.
It is dangerous to find ourselves in a place where we believe we must be the ones to do the work, make the decisions, and receive the credit. If that is the case, then we have missed our calling. We should have been God. Multiplying ministry and partnering with others gives place to the Holy Spirit to make the rings of our ripples pulsate farther than we can even begin to imagine.