Be fruitful and multiply


“Be fruitful and multiply” is a well-known phrase from the Bible, found in the book of Genesis. This phrase, often interpreted as being a commandment to procreate, can be applied to many areas of our lives, including making disciples and building things — families, communities, buildings, works of art; the list is endless.

One example of being fruitful is the construction of a building or a community project. Building a new thing can be seen as a metaphor for creating life. When we build, we put all our energy, resources, and passion into creating something that will bring joy and purpose to others.

The process of nurturing can be challenging, but it is also deeply rewarding. It requires hard work, innovation, and dedication to ensure that it meets the needs of those who will use it. The end result is not just a physical structure but also a manifestation of one’s creativity, ideas, and vision.

However, planting something new is only the first step. The second part of the phrase, “multiply,” suggests that we should aim to replicate our efforts by inspiring others to follow in our footsteps. Just as a parent teaches their child the skills they need to thrive in the world, so too should we pass along the knowledge and experience we gained from building something.

This process of multiplication can take on many forms, such as mentoring, training, or coaching. By sharing our expertise, we can empower others to take up the mantle and continue the work we started. In doing so, we not only create a ripple effect of positivity but also ensure that our efforts will continue long after we are gone.

Another area where “be fruitful and multiply” can be applied is in the context of discipleship. Discipleship is a process of spiritual growth through mentorship and guidance. This concept is frequently seen in the Christian faith, where followers are encouraged to mentor and teach others in the gospel.

Discipleship involves not just sharing knowledge but also fostering a deep relationship with those we mentor. It requires vulnerability, humility, and a willingness to listen and learn from each other. Through this process, we not only help others grow in their faith but also grow in our own spiritual journey.

Additionally, the process of discipleship is not limited to the spiritual realm. It can also be applied to other areas of life, such as leadership and personal development. Just as a mentor helps their disciple develop their spiritual life, so too can they guide them in building skills and talents that will help them succeed in their personal and professional lives.

Furthermore, the act of disciple-making also involves “multiplying” oneself. As a mentor, we not only pass on knowledge and skills but also values and character traits that we have cultivated over time. By doing so, we create a legacy that will continue through the individuals we have mentored, just as a parent’s legacy lives on through their children.

“Be fruitful and multiply” can be applied to various aspects of our lives. It encourages us to grow families. It urges us to create and build things that will bring joy and purpose to others and to inspire others to do the same. It also calls us to mentor and disciple others in ways that will result in positive growth and development. By doing so, we create legacies that extend far beyond our own lifetimes. So let us take up the challenge to be builders, mentors, and disciples, and leave a positive impact on the world around us.

Terri Starcher attends Church of the Messiah in Xenia, is on the worship team and teaches in various formats.

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