Love Limits to Multiply

To love requires time.  To disciple is to love, therefore disciple making necessitates time.  To make a disciple is to say, “I will spend time with you.” When Jesus said, “follow me” to each of his disciples, he was saying to him, “I want to spend extended time with you.” He who is too busy cannot love and therefore cannot make disciples.

Jesus chose to spend three years with his small band because he was not only going to instruct them about love but he was also going to cultivate the group so that they could experience what it is like to be part of a group that loves one another.  (Notice that others came to Jesus asking to be his disciple but he kept the number at twelve.)

Here in Chicago we pace our growth based on how many people we can disciple and on how many people we can love.  We are surrounded by millions of people and tremendous need so we must be extra careful not to “swamp” our canoe.  At the moment that a group has more people to disciple than there are disciplers they become “swamped.”    The same is true with love, when there are more people to love than our group can love effectively; once again we have allowed the boat to be “swamped”.  Once the group is “swamped” with too many people I am convinced that there is no effective way to “unswamp” the canoe.

2 thoughts on “Love Limits to Multiply

  1. Lewie,

    Because there is no way to “unswamp” the canoe, would you say that when a discipler is struggling to invest in too many people at once, the only solution is to bring in another canoe? That is, would you say the only answer is to encourage one of the disciples to become a discipler themselves?

  2. Lewie,

    Thank you for your insight into this topic.

    While I agree that our growth needs to be limited by the number of people that we can effectively disciple, I wonder at the number. You say that Jesus kept the number to 12, but those 12 were the ones he called and who followed him just about everywhere for 3 years. Yet we know that where ever he went, there were the crowds that followed him. Indeed, we see that Joseph of Arimathea is called one of Jesus’ disciples (Matt. 27:57). Would you say that the number of disciples is limited to the number of disciplers? Or are you saying that the number of disciples needs to be limited by the number that the disciplers can effectively love and teach?

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