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The 5 Essential Practices of Leaders Who Multiply Leaders

The point: Jesus’ ministry emphasis, in terms of where he put the biggest amount of time, was with his 12 apprentices! He was mentoring them so they would do “greater things” (John 14:12). This included multiplying themselves through others.

In the years that followed, not only do we see the amazing works of the Holy Spirit through these 12 in and after the book of Acts, but according to history Jesus’ earliest followers fulfilled his prophecy that they would do greater things by making other disciple makers around the world

21st-Century Hero Maker

I vividly remember the day I looked at my schedule and saw an appointment with a guy named Sam Stephens. I asked my assistant, Pat, why I had this meeting and who this guy was.

“I thought you knew him,” she said. “All I know is that he is from India.”

I went into the meeting wondering if this would be a waste of my time. I greeted the man, extended my hand and asked him to tell me his story. Sam started back in the 1950s, with a story about his father. Sam’s father had started a mission to plant churches in India, and by 1992 they had experienced some growth. They now had 200 churches, and all could be traced to that first church started by Sam’s dad in the ’50s.

Wow, I thought. Two hundred churches! Sam had my attention now.

Sam wasn’t comfortable talking about his own work; he’s very humble. So I had to drag the details out of him. He told me that in 1992, he had taken over the mission, and he made a simple but strategic shift in the way they did things. He began to insist that every church planter not only plant a church but also have an apprentice church planter. This was someone who would come alongside the planter and learn firsthand how to plant a church, so the reproduction would continue year after year.

Now I was really curious. “How is that going?”

Without much expression, Sam replied, “Well, we now have seventy thousand churches.”

At that point, I was glad that I was sitting down. I was beginning to realize that this was an incredible story. I asked Sam, “How many people does that represent?” And again his reply took my breath away.

“I think about 3.5 million,” he said. Then he added, “But we are praying for one hundred thousand churches and 5 million people!”

At that, I began to wonder: How did this kind of exponential multiplication happen?

In talking further with Sam, I learned that he had discovered hero making.

He made the shift from trying to be the hero to hero making back in 1992, and it transformed the results of their church-planting efforts.