Which would you rather have. . .

  • $1,000 a day for 31 days, or
  • a penny today, two pennies tomorrow, four pennies the next day, and so on for 31 days?

If you choose option #2, congratulations, you just just choose twenty one million dollars. If you choose option #1, sorry, you just lost twenty one million dollars.

Here is how the details work out:

Day
Daily Amount
Total
1
$0.01
$0.01
2
$0.02
$0.03
3
$0.04
$0.07
4
$0.08
$0.15
5
$0.16
$0.31
6
$0.32
$0.63
7
$0.64
$1.27
8
$1

$2

9
$3
$5
10
$5
$10
11
$10
$20
12
$20
$40
13
$41
$81
14
$82
$163
15
$164
$327
16
$328
$655
17
$655
$1,310
18
$1,311
$2,621
19
$2,621
$5,242
20
$5,243
$10,485
21
$10,486
$20,971
22
$20,972
$41,943
23
$41,943
$83,886
24
$83,886
$167,772
25
$167,772
$335,544
26
$335,544
$671,088
27
$671,089
$1,342,177
28
$1,342,177
$2,684,354
29
$2,684,355
$5,368,709
30
$5,368,709
$10,737,418
31
$10,737,418
$21,474,836

Perhaps a chart would help. The column on the left is your $21 million. Can't see the column on the right? You get the picture!

That is the power of multiplication.

I am fond of giving this illustration in my seminars. Imagine you were to take an ordinary piece of paper and fold it 50 times, how thick do you think the resulting stack of paper would be? Now, to be fair, this is impossible, because before long the paper is so small and so thick you can't keep folding it. But if it were possible, how thick do you think it would be? Two people I asked answered this way:

  • As thick as a big-city phone book
  • As tall as a refrigerator

Correct answer, roughly the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Don't believe me? Do you have Excel? Work it out for yourself.

That is the power of multiplication.

That is why I get so excited about a Sunday School teacher who can double his class in two years or less. If we can perfect that one simple skill, we can turn the world upside down. You wouldn't be able to start services fast enough. You couldn't build buildings quickly enough. You couldn't start new churches soon enough to contain the growth if we can teach Sunday School teachers and small group leaders to double every two years or less.

That is the power of multiplication.

This power of multiplication is often applied in a one-on-one way. I win someone to Christ and disciple him and he wins someone to Christ and disciples him and so on. I think a much more biblical pattern is through a church. I like to think of it though a micro-church, the Sunday School class or small home group. I think that is the way Paul applied the power of multiplication in 2 Timothy 2.2, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, impart to reliable men who will be able to teach others." Note that the imparting was in the presence of many witnesses. We don't know how many. I assume it was at least the size of the average Sunday School class.

We tend to get excited about big things. We get excited about having he Power Team come in and set stuff on fire and bend steel and lift heavy objects. That has its place. But do you know what gets me excited? A group of ten people who can grow to 14 in a year. Because if we can do that, we can grow to 20 in two years. If we can do that we can double every two years or less. If we can do that we can turn the world upside down.

That is the power of multiplications.

The Bible says, "Who despises the day of small things? " Zech. 4:10 Well, Southern Baptists, for one group! We like big things. Big meetings and big programs and big events. We like big things. The power is often in the small. In the small group that can grow can 10 to 14 in a year. There is great power in that.

There is great power in multiplication. That is why I ask you to give your life to helping a group go from one group to two.