February 19th, 2010 at 2:12 pm
VERNON – Meeting individually with mature believers, new Christians across the state are growing in their faith as a result of an effort to increase Baptist discipleship efforts.
Texas Baptists across the state are being trained to disciple new believers one-on-one through an effort called Operation Multiplication, which trains laypeople to be disciple-makers. Operation Multiplication is one of the discipleship methods being encouraged by leaders of Texas Hope 2010, a Texas Baptist initiative to share the hope of Christ with every Texan by Easter 2010.
Congregations across the state from North Texas to the lower Rio Grande Valley and from El Paso to Center are participating in Operation Multiplication. Laypeople are trained in trained in how to disciple people and recruit others to be trained as well. Each trained disciple maker then finds a new Christian to disciple.
“There are 30 Lead Churches already committed and participating in the process,” said Dickie Dunn, Texas Baptists’ discipleship specialist. “Over 250 people in those churches are being trained as disciple-makers. That number will continue to multiply as each person is committed to disciple four other people during the next year, with each of those people doing the same. Each church is committed to enlist at least five more churches in their community to participate as well.”
Ben Macklin, pastor of First Baptist Church in Vernon, said the Operation Multiplication curriculum is providing something his congregation has been missing.
“Discipleship has been the big piece of the puzzle that has been lacking for years, decades, in our churches,” he said. “What we call discipleship is not one-on-one discipleship. What we decided is this is something that is well organized that we could adopt.”
The first member of the church has completed the training and already is discipling his first person, praising the ease with which he is applying Operation Multiplication information into practical use. Eighteen members of First Baptist Church in Vernon are going through the program.
Recently, 65 people from five churches gathered for an Operation Multiplication training event at Crestview Baptist Church in Georgetown. Crestview Baptist Church Pastor Dan Wooldridge praised the program as being accessible and practical and looked forward to seeing how God would use the discipleship effort for His glory.
Both First Baptist Church in Vernon and Crestview Baptist Church in Georgetown are involved in distributing Texas Hope 2010 multimedia gospel compact discs throughout their communities. The pastor of each indicated Operation Multiplication is an ideal tool to use for follow-up to saturating an area with the gospel.
Operation Multiplication provides each new believer the one-on-one attention he or she needs to grow closer to God, Macklin said. It uses the biblical model of Paul pouring his life into people individually. Doing anything less decreases the chances of people growing deeply in their faith.
“If you don’t do one-on-one, you don’t see the results you need to see, which is new believers growing,” Macklin said.
For more information about Texas Hope 2010 and Operation Multiplication, visit www.texashope2010.com or call Dunn at 888-244-9400.