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The Multipliers Journey

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jour·ney (noun) - an act of traveling from one place to another

by David Putman

In May of 2022 my wife Tami and I took a trip. It was our first big trip since the shutdown. We needed this trip. Our losses had been great, and it was time to re-discover that life is often found in the journey. Like many journeys, this one was not to be easy. It required a car, a flight, a bus, a ferry, another flight, and another car just to get to our destination. Then, after a few days we had to reverse the order to make our way back home. It was our best trip ever.

We (Exponential and Auxano) want to invite you on a journey. Exponential has created and curated some of the best multiplication resources in the world. At Auxano, we deliver breakthrough processes that lead to growth or in this case multiplication. This journey, though it may resemble my recent trip, will lead you to multiplication. Imagine for a moment the latent potential of your church to be a movement. That’s right, a movement. Take a moment and pause, now take a deep breath, imagine, pray, and surrender.

As process experts, we want to help you navigate this journey. Go ahead, get in the car, on the bus, take the ferry, or get in a rocket. God is up to something, and we don’t want to miss it. Join us on the Multipliers Journey as we help you navigate God’s future for you and your church. You don’t want to miss your journey.

The Multipliers Journey is a process designed to move your church from programs to disciple-making, weekend services to gospel movements, and ultimately from church growth to church multiplication. Here’s a sneak peek into our five-phase process for navigating the Multipliers Journey. We’ll see you along the journey.

Discover the world of multiplication (Discovery). Much of our life is about discoveries and new journeys. Often these new journeys are accompanied by an unexpected moment when everything changes. The light comes on. The paradigm is flipped. We are born with a new idea. We receive an undeniable call from God. This has been our experience with multiplication. You might plant a church because it’s the right thing to do, but you don’t multiply unless you are awakened by a divine spark that ignites your soul. When this happens, there is no turning back, you might as well burn the ships for you are forever connected to the Sower whose seed is planted in good soil and grows 30, 60, and 100-fold.

It all begins when your eyes are strangely open, and the darkness begins to fade. This kind of breakthrough sometimes happens all at once, other times over time, but all the same, you find yourself drawn to a new destination. In this case, it’s a place called multiplication, a place flowing with milk and honey.

For me, this breakthrough began with an innocent conversation. As a 63-year-old pastor with 60 members desperate for help poured out his heart, “I know what you say about disciple-making is right, but all we know how to do is run programs. Can you teach us how to make disciples?” That led to what we are calling a movement of disciple-making in and among our fitness community.

As those who are on the journey, we want to invite you to join us. In this first phase of the journey, we will explore the five levels and three dimensions of multiplication. Ultimately, you will be faced with the challenge to make the ultimate shift from being the hero to becoming a hero-maker.

Commit to being a multiplier (Commitment). Like with Tami and me, once you dare to dream of a new destination, it’s time to commit. In the second part of your Multipliers Journey you will discover that you are made for more and the way you become more is by becoming less. The way you become less is as simple as transitioning from our all-too-common posture of “We can do it, you can help” to one of “You can do it, how can we help?” This discovery will require a commitment that will require updating an old program-based operational system for a new disciple-making system, calibrated for agility, giving it the capacity to adapt to any context yielding the fruit of disciples making disciples and churches planting churches.

Align around your multiplication principles (Alignment). Compelled by a dream or vision of sorts it’s time to align. Aligning will require a deep dive into the principles that fuel movements around the world. These multiplication principles will then be contextualized and applied to your church’s context for reviewing and refining your church’s multiplication culture. Churches that align their culture and implement simple systems of disciple-making, capacity-building, and mobilization often experience a flywheel effect. No longer does our disciple-making and church planting feel like we are pushing the car up the hill, quite the contrary, it feels more like an unstoppable force.

Get ready to multiply (Planning). There is no way that Tami and I would have made it to our destination without a plan. Our journey, like this journey, is filled with lots of exciting stops and new adventures that define the journey itself. At one point we got lost and missed our bus. This required pausing to recalibrate, seeking some counsel, and a new bus ticket, and before we knew it, we were headed to our destination. A good plan allows for these kinds of disruptive moments and allows us to get back on track.

Yes, and even movements require carefully crafted plans. David L. Watson and Paul D. Watson remind us that even movements aren’t exempt from a multiplication plan. In their classic movement book, Contagious Disciple Making, look at what they say:

So, in a DMM (Disciple-Making Movement), rapid multiplication really isn’t rapid. We go slowly but appear to go fast. We invest extensively in one person to reach and train many. We want to add at least two new leaders to our mentoring process each year and equip the new leaders to do the same every year. As leaders multiply, churches grow and multiply.[i]

Movements don’t just happen but can be contributed to several factors, including a prayerfully Spirit-lead development of a multiplication plan. Using our proven visionary planning process, you will walk away with the answer to some key questions including:

  • Where is God taking us?
  • What obstacles do we need to overcome?
  • What do we need to focus on now?
  • How are we going to get it done?

Unleash a movement (Implementation). Finally, with a plan in hand, it will be time to get started on your journey. What good is a plan if we don’t know how to use it to get the right stuff done? In this phase, you will put together a multiplication team, develop action plans, and develop a coaching structure that provides direction and accountability designed to the specifics of your journey.

Go ahead punch the ticket, buckle up, and get started today on your journey toward multiplication. This is one journey you don’t want to miss!

[i] David L. Watson & Paul D. Watson, Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery, (Thomas Nelson; Nashville, 2014) page 7.