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November 2, 2015

From the president's heart: multiplication

Written by  Nelson Okanya

This article appears in the November/December 2015 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.

“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2 Timothy 2:2, NLT).

At the core of EMM’s mission methods are disciples of Jesus who go into their neighborhoods and schools and workplaces. In the towns where they were born or in countries far from home, they teach the good news, the message of salvation that is the power of God (Romans 1:16) to birth new disciples of Jesus.

We go and teach with bold humility. We go humbly, recognizing that new life in others is birthed through God’s great love and transforming power, not ours. Yet we teach boldly, stirred into great hope and sacrificial obedience by the grand vision of God’s plan to multiply new life throughout the whole earth.

When every disciple of Jesus teaches others, the church experi-
ences multiplication rather than simple addition. And God’s kingdom of love and joy and justice and peace expands exponentially on our planet.

We do not hold tightly to the ministries God gives us. We look for opportunities to pass on responsibility and decision-making to others. And we rejoice that those whom we teach will move beyond what we can do ourselves.

We serve as holistically as we can and then expect God to multiply the results in the hearts and minds of others. We see our efforts and theirs multiplying into ever-expanding circles of missional activity under the authority and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Here in the U.S., we have seen multiplication as EMM work gave birth to ministries that have now grown far beyond the initial seeds planted by EMM — ministries such as Landis Homes, Friendship Community, Choice Books, Immerse International, and the Mennonite Information Center.

In other parts of the world, we have seen multiplication as EMM workers faithfully taught others who surrendered their lives to Christ. Then these believers went on and taught others in places like Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, and Vietnam.

Enjoy the stories of multiplication in this issue of MM. And keep asking this important question with me: Which people in our lives might God be asking us to entrust with what God has entrusted to us?

This article appears in the November/December 2015 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.