Bruce Wilkinson on Reproduction


One Sunday morning I ran into one of the most outstanding teachers in the church that we attend. He looked like he was carrying a big sack of overripe discouragement. “What seems to be the matter?” I asked him, hoping to be of some encouragement.

“Another couple just quit my class this morning,” he said. “My class is a revolving door. After twelve to eighteen months my students leave and I have to start all over again. I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m thinking of quitting.”

It didn’t sound too good, but I took a chance and explored a little further. “Do you have any idea why they might be leaving? Is your content missing the mark?” “No, I think my subject is right on target. The class members grow like weeds and then leave. Just this year I’ve lost six great couples that I’ve really been working with. They’ve quit my class to become teachers of their own classes.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. What an exciting problem he had! Quickly I shared how the Lord felt about his ongoing “problem”—that my friend was undoubtedly an extremely effective teacher because he was equipping his students to teach others! Perhaps someday we’ll all know enough to celebrate the right victories.

Independent equippers are those who have mastered a ministry skill, who are actively using it, who enlist others with similar gifts and interests, who train them to become proficient, and who send them out with ongoing guidance to do the same.

Can you capture the power inherent in the Lord’s Method of Multiplication? He doesn’t want us to just train people; He also wants us to train people to become trainers who will eventually train others to become trainers.

People come into our classes needing guidance and oversight. Our task is to continue developing them in light of their spiritual gifts to become active “workers in ministry” to the point that they reproduce themselves.

-- The Seven Laws of the Learner: How to Teach Almost Anything to Practically Anyone (Bruce Wilkinson)