07. Spiritual Multiplication

“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.”

2 Timothy 2:2

What and Why


In Acts 17:30 God expressed a desire for people EVERYWHERE to turn to him. In 2 Peter 3:9 we learn that our Lord is patient, not wishing that anyone would perish.


As of March 12, 2012 the world population topped 7 billion for the first time, and it continues to grow. How is it that EVERYONE is going to hear the gospel? How is it that all people, everywhere will have the opportunity to grow in their faith? How is it that every student in your city is going to hear about Jesus?


Jesus modeled a strategy that God designed to fulfill the Great Commission -- spiritual multiplication. Making disciples who make disciples. (Matthew 28:19-20) If we are to see the day when EVERYONE will hear the gospel and EVERYONE will have an opportunity to grow in faith we must dedicate ourselves to adopt Jesus’ method for reaching the world.

Learning from the Word


Believers around the world turn to 2 Timothy 2 to understand spiritual multiplication. In this chapter, Paul the experienced evangelist and discipler, gives guidance to a younger believer. He explains how Timothy is to work. Verse 2 sketches out a strategy. Verses 3-7 speak of the perseverance, focus and intensity that Timothy needed to have in order to implement the strategy.


Read 2 Timothy 2:2


"The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."  (2 Tim 2:2)


In your own words, state the instruction that Paul gives to Timothy.


There are many people involved in this short verse. Write down each person, or group of people, involved. (Start with Paul who refers to himself in this verse)


Now that you have listed all those who are involved, how would you summarize the concept of spiritual multiplication?


Paul instructs Timothy to work in such a way that the laborers are multiplied. As we analyze this verse we see that there are several “generations” of laborers. What started with Paul extends far beyond Timothy.


The verbs in verse 2 paint a picture of what is involved in spiritual multiplication.


"The things you heard from me"

There is a message that is given. It is the gospel. It is the truth.



What does the word “entrust” communicate?  


"Who are able to teach others"

What do you think is involved in “being able to teach others?”



The strategy that Paul lays out in verse 2 is followed by three metaphors that describe the labor of someone involved in spiritual multiplication.


3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.  - 2 Timothy 2:3-6


What do you learn from the comparison of a spiritual multiplier to a soldier in verses 3-4?


What do you learn from the comparison with an athlete in verse 5?


What do you learn from the comparison with a farmer in verse 6?

Connecting to the Truth


We are thankful that Paul set forth a strategy for ministry in 2 Timothy 2:2. We are also blessed to see in the book of Acts how he pursued this strategy.  Paul took Timothy under his wing and discipled him.  Timothy grew as he served the Lord with Paul.  It is likely that Timothy traveled with Paul on both his second and third missionary journeys. 


The two were so close that Paul could write to him in 2 Timothy 3:10-11, “Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra…” Clearly the text describes a close relationship between the two. Over time, Timothy demonstrated himself to be a faithful man, able to teach others. Paul described him as “my fellow worker” (Romans 16:21).


Timothy grew and had his own disciples. He taught them, and they taught others. The church grew.


We are dedicated to following this pattern. By God’s grace, we will teach others, who teach others, who teach others. Our goal is for the gospel to spread from one heart to another as laborers are developed for the harvest.


The brilliance of spiritual multiplication:


We previously mentioned that EVERYONE refers to a massive number of people. Spiritual multiplication is a God-given strategy that can complete the task of taking the message of Christ to everyone.


Paul and Tim walking



What impresses you about the message of this video?


The beauty of spiritual multiplication


As we reflect on Paul’s example of developing Timothy to be a spiritual multiplier we see the intense personal nature of the strategy. One person invests in the life of another. The love and care of God is expressed through a personal relationship. One person challenges another and helps them grow. It is not surprising for Paul to refer to Timothy as his own son. They had a special relationship.


At the same time that the strategy is intensely personal it has the power to reach EVERYONE. Today there is a great gap that we all feel. There are so many people who haven’t heard the gospel. There are so many who have little understanding of who Jesus is and what he did for them. They need to hear.


If we are to close this gap, if we are to reach the university students of our nation, we need an effective strategy. Spiritual multiplication is God's plan to complete the task. Thus, we are dedicated to become spiritual multipliers. Spiritual multiplication is the strategy of this movement.


Spiritual multiplication is defined as winning people to Christ and investing in the lives of the faithful ones in such a way as to win, build and send others, spiritual generation after generation. It is building multiplying disciples.

An investment of time, commitment and love is used by God to help someone grow.


A person who has been discipled learns how they can disciple someone else.  

The following video is an example of how God is multiplying laborers for the harvest among today's university students.

Taking Action


The challenge of spiritual multiplication


Spiritual multiplication is God’s strategy. He invites you to become a spiritual multiplier.


The decision is yours. You can pursue this goal. Or, like so many, you can pursue something else. If we step out in faith and trust God to make us spiritual multipliers, he will work in us. He loves to hear his children pray – “Lord, make me one of the faithful men and women who will teach others also.” This movement is full of students who have prayed that prayer, who stepped out in faith and grew into spiritual multipliers.


 The choice is ours:


How was God speaking to you while you studied spiritual multiplication?


If you become a spiritual multiplier what impact would that have on your university?


The challenge:


Pursuing spiritual multiplication is a step of faith. Would you like to pray the following prayer of commitment?


“Lord, I want to be a spiritual multiplier. Work through me to help other students share the gospel and disciple others. As written in 2 Timothy 2:2, I ask that you enable me to work with faithful people who will instruct others. Teach me Father. Train me. Give me a heart for people, for your gospel and for the world.   I accept the challenge of becoming a spiritual multiplier.”

Passing it on


Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of spiritual multiplication. They haven’t discovered in 2 Timothy 2:2 an amazing strategy that is both personal and expansive. They might not believe that God could use them to influence others in this way.


Think of two people who might need to hear the message of 2 Timothy 2:2. Set up a time to meet with them, and ask them if you can share what you have recently learned from Paul’s message to Timothy. Let them know that you believe in them, and that God can do great things through them.


Perhaps these two people will decide to join you in being a spiritual multiplier.


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