Expectant, Chapter Two
God is calling us to be a church for ALL PEOPLE, and ALL EDINBURGH, where ALL of us are ALL in for Jesus.
He’s been multiplying us over many years. King’s started with a dozen people in a lounge which God kept growing. God multiplied our people, our resources, our buildings. He multiplied our spheres of ministry in the elderly community, the high school community, and the young parents community. He multiplied our church to make it two: now meeting in West Lothian as well as in Edinburgh. He multiplied our meeting options to morning and evening.
Big news for King’s is that we feel he is now multiplying our eldership team from 3 to 6 people! We’re so excited about this as we believe this will enlarge our capacity to grow King’s, to care for more people, to reach more people, and to plant more churches. The need is huge and we’re delighted to say that having worked hard behind the scenes for some time we are now confident to propose Chris Rawson, Andy Wall and Sandy Deans as future elders in King’s. We’d really value your feedback. Elders are to have a heart of care for the church and godly character to match. There is an opportunity over the next month to give us existing elders (Dan, Matt and Luke) feedback.
Multiplication is something God has for every follower of Jesus. He promised that the water he gives us becomes a spring welling up to eternal life. He promised the seed sown on good soil would bear a harvest 30-100 times what was sown. We learn some valuable lessons on multiplication from the Miracle of the Feeding of the 5000.
Lesson 1: Multiplication happens when Jesus is there.
Verse 14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
It’s all about Jesus being at the heart. The crowd likened him to Moses (“The Prophet” who multiplied bread in the wilderness). But he was so much more. The creator of all became flesh. Jesus wasn’t just a prophet providing food, but the very essence of a generous God who multiplies all he touches and provides for his people.
The apostles get no credit for their role in the miracle. Leaders are just the waiters, transferring God’s provision to those in need. Multiplying churches aren’t dependent on big name personalities; we’ve got Jesus.
Lesson 2: Multiplication happens at inconvenient moments.
Verse 3-4 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
Passover is coming (busy). Jesus is grieving- John Baptist his cousin has just been beheaded. The disciples are tired after a busy ministry season. They haven’t eaten. He says “come with me to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark’s gospel).
But the leisure time doesn’t materialise! Crowds appear. They don’t make an idol of leisure time. They had correct perspective to work when Jesus needed them to. And in the end they became more energised by participating with Jesus' miracle than if they’d rested on the mountain.
Expectant people embrace disruption when Jesus requires them to.
Lesson 3: Multiplication happens when needs become noticed.
Jesus sees a need that no-one else is seeing. He feels compassion because the people have been badly taught. So he teaches them late into the day. Then it becomes noticed the people need food. When we observe the world around us correctly and allow God to speak to us it’s a powerful precursor to multiplication. William Booth was a failing street preacher who then began to notice the plight of the urban poor in London. He shared with his wife that “He’d found our destiny!”- leading to the start of the Salvation Army, which went on to share the gospel and care for millions around the world.
Lesson 4: Multiplication happens when minds are engaged and challenge is acted upon.
Verse 5-6 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Jesus creates a learning community, a place where no idea is too silly. Where challenges can be made. This helps them own the problem. He makes the ask of Phillip. Phillip doesn’t bury his head. Environments where we get challenged with regards to our mission, like small groups, are a vital part of multiplication.
Lesson 5: Multiplication happens through structured planning.
Verse 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).
Other gospels say they were told to sit down in groups of 50. The miracle wasn’t limited by lack of organisation. It’s important we value practical gifts and structure in multiplying God’s kingdom.
Lesson 6: Multiplication happens when we give ALL.
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
John says it’s a boy! Boys love their food. It must have been a sacrifice to give it all to Jesus! Yet the miracles of multiplication required it. We must give our all to Jesus; confident with child like faith that it’s always the best thing to give Jesus everything. He always gives back to us more than we could ask or imagine. We can never out-give him.
- King’s Journey so far. Where did you join us on the journey? How have you seen how God is at work multiplying King’s?
- New elders. We’d love you to engage with the process- we’d love to hear your thoughts on Chris, Andy and Sandy in as much as you know them. Please send your thoughts to the email address we provided.
- 5 Lessons of multiplication: 1) Making it about Jesus not you 2) Embracing inconvenience 3) Seeing the need 4) Engaging your heart and mind 5) Giving your all. Which of these 5 lessons do you find challenges you most right now?
- Small groups.How do we see this small group changing over the next 12 months? How can we see more small groups started in more parts of Edinburgh?
- In Good Hands. We’re bread in Jesus hands. What comfort does that give us when we’re feeling over-committed?