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Rachel has got me thinking again

12 December, 2002 5:02 PM

Rachel has me thinking again in her Success postWhy do we get so caught up in measuring success by the worlds standards of success?? NOTE TO SELF - blog something on "Multiplying Churches" - edited by Stephen Timmis and Co. This is an amazing little book that presents another way of growing the kingdom - through multiplication (ie churches planting churches that plant churches that plant churches) rather than through addition (ie churches growing one convert at a time)

Easy to do the mathematics and work out which is more successful. The story that always gets trotted out to illustrate this point is the legend of the invention of Chess.

The Emperor of India put the call out to his subjects that he wanted a new game invented and that there would be a reward for the inventor of the best one. An old man came to him with Chess - after showing him the game and looking at the other inventions CHESS was declared the winner. The Emperor was so exultant over the invention of chess that he offered the inventor anything he wanted in the kingdom. The inventor thought for a minute and then said, "One grain of rice, Your Majesty."

"Just one grain of rice?"

"Yes, just one grain of rice on the first square of the chess board, two grains of rice on the second square, four grains of rice on the third square," and so on. Each sqare got double the grains of rice that the last square had. Doesnt sound like much of a prize til you do the math!

The Emperor goes bankrupt because 2to the 64th power (2 to the 64 squares in the chessboard, 2 to the 64 grains of rice) is 18 million billion grains of rice. At 10 grains of rice per square inch of rice fields, that would mean that the entire surface of the earth would have to be covered with rice fields two times over, oceans included.

The point is that the strategy of growing the Church one person at a time is good - but if we could just harness the multiplication theory and set up communities of faith that would reproduce themselves we'd be onto a pretty good thing! Just a thought....



Dear Darren
Great story. I think I might use it, if that's ok?
P.S. check out thecrowdedhouse.org

Steve Timmis » 18 April, 2003 5:38 PM

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