Do you have the vision of multiplication? Or you only see yourself as the end of the line?
A stagnant leader is subtractive. A divisive leader divides. While a shallow leader focuses on adding one, the smart and successful leader multiplies.
Imagine if Jesus did not have the vision of multiplication through His 12 disciples, will the whole world hear the gospel?
Instead of focusing on teaching thousands and proclaiming to millions, Jesus prioritized discipling His small group of individuals and demonstrated the power of multiplication.
A classic summary of this is captured by Apostle Paul. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
Here’s how it works.
1. Exemplify Your Life and Leadership.
Based on what Apostle Paul learned from Jesus’ life and leadership, he applied the method and made it his own. That sense of ownership in catching the vision of multiplication is crucial in any powerful growth.
In this case, the vision was caught and restarted for continuity with Paul as the “me” who modeled the lessons he shared. He both taught and trained his students and leaders.
The late Dr. Luis Pantoja once said, “A teacher educates, but only a practitioner trains.”
The critical point is the example that Paul demonstrated to his disciples and trainees. He is not just a teacher but a practitioner. This I also learned from my mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Lepasana, the author of E12 intentional discipleship.
The effective and efficient leader is always an example to his followers. The same is true for someone who desires to disciple and raise leaders. Be a model.
2. Equip Selected Leaders.
When the Apostle wrote this letter to Timothy (implied in the “you“), it does not mean he is alone. Actually, this is the same principle that works for the other leaders that Paul personally mentored, like Titus, Mark, etc.
Just like Jesus did when he chose a small group of his disciples, Paul also chose his own disciples and leaders to be Christlike. He personally selected them, spent time with them, and shaped them into Christ-centered multipliers.
As Paul caught the vision of Jesus’ vision of multiplication, he also made it sure that his disciples and leaders caught that vision too in order to ensure continuity, succession, and exponential growth.
3. Entrust to Empower Quality Leaders.
You might think this is merely methodological, but actually, it is not. This is more than just style without substance.
If you closely analyze the approach of Jesus and Apostle Paul, it is content-based. It’s indicated in “the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses.” These include the teachings and life of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and ministry applications.
Such “things” contain the power of God and authority of Christ that Timothy (as the second generation from Paul) should “entrust to reliable people” (the third generation).
In order for the Christ-centered content to spread, reliable Christian leaders are needed. They must have the qualities of teachability, credibility, initiative, and integrity. They must be learners and able to teach and make disciples. That’s competence.
4. Expand Exponentially.
The greatest asset of a leader is to be able to build other leaders to do the same.
It’s an endless pay-it-forward direction, but it’s not merely a conspiracy of kindness and altruism. It is driven by a Christ-centered mission and mandate. That’s the big difference between method only and mission driven-content.
You are not just influencing the “others” as the fourth generation (or level as in the case of multi-level marketing or corporate hierarchy). You are actually perpetuating the vision of Christ to exponentially grow to innumerable people.
That’s why Jesus did not bother preaching and teaching to millions of people. In just three years of total commitment, focus, and endeavor of discipling the ordinary apostles, he turned them into extraordinary influencers–not based on coercion and control but–compassion and content of the Gospel.
One major reason why I love investing my time in leaders and leadership training is this: leaders multiply.
But what motivates me the more is this: leaders who caught the vision of Jesus for multiplication are the most successful and significant ones in the history of Christianity.
Who knows? That could be you.
Glenn Plastina (c) 2017