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The goal is to multiply

Written by Andy Sims, Vice President of Leadership Development

The Goal is to Multiply

Emmanuel is one of our oldest pastors. He is short and thin with only a few spots of silver stubble lingering on his shaved head. He's quiet and gentle, but his ear-to-ear smile draws you in.

His church in Savanne Carre is far away in distance (5 hours from our ministry center) and culture. There was no formal training or strategic planning for Haitian pastors when he started. All it took was a surrendered life. So Emmanuel offered his best and let God fill in the gaps. No doubt God was pleased.

My first visit there was what I expected: A long, difficult drive and a humble setting. Following his cue, the church exuded warmth, enthusiasm, and gratitude. He was so proud to invite us to his home for lunch, and then he sat on the porch until we finished because there wasn't enough room for his family to eat with us.

I remember thinking, "I could learn a lot from this man."

Multiply Collage

Two years ago when Lifeline launched its first Bible Institute, Emmanuel was there. It didn't matter how late in life that opportunity had come. God had more for him. He also brought Amyel, his son who was attending a university, and Elusma, a leader from his church.  

One consistent theme in Lifeline's training is multiplication: 
Make disciples who make disciples.
Develop leaders who develop leaders.
Plant churches that plant churches.

As simple as that sounds, even the best churches in North America struggle to make the shift from addition to multiplication. Still, every training we present the same challenge: Multiply.

In February, the Bible Institute graduated its first class. Tears welled up in my eyes when first Amyel, the Institute's top student, then his father, with a smile even wider than usual, proudly received their certificates and shook my hand. This was their moment... or that's what I thought.

Just a few weeks after graduation, the church in Savanne Carre multiplied!

Without asking for support (or even telling anyone), they had begun evangelizing in an even more remote area nearby named Durand. They collected an offering (mainly odds and ends of construction supplies) to build a shelter to house the new church. Emmanuel sent his best leader, Elusma, who'd just graduated with him to be their leader. And on that first day, March 18, 2018, about 45 people showed up and 4 people were baptized.

Multiply Collage

While I'd been teaching (and maybe doubting), they'd been working and dreaming and praying. No one had told Emmanuel there was a difference between theory and practice. We'd forgotten to remind him how limited his resources were. If God says multiply, he reasoned, then you surrender, offer your best, and expect Him to fill in the gaps.

I'm discovering there are still some gaps in my training. When God calls us to something, it's never really about us. It's about surrender with an ear-to-ear smile.

We could all learn a lot from that man.



Support Leadership Development

Our local leaders and pastors serving in our communities are hungry...hungry to share God's Word and hungry to reach their communities for Christ. But accomplishing that can be difficult with limited resources. 
 
Therefore, equipping our local church leaders and pastors to lead is essential for these churches to develop, grow, and minister to their communities! Equip a leader today.