But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
I listened again to Phil and Monika Clark’s story of pioneering movements in New Zealand. It’s a story I never tire of hearing. Wherever we train ordinary people with simple, but powerful methods of connecting, sharing, training new disciples and forming new churches—we see God at work.
In New Zealand, as in Australia, Britain and Europe, we’re still a long way from multiplying movements of disciples and churches. But we are seeing fruit, where previously there was none.
The biggest barrier to the spread of the gospel, resulting in new disciples and multiplying streams of churches, is our unwillingness to share the gospel up front and early and teach new disciples how to obey Christ.
We have this treasure in jars of clay (2 Cor 4:7).
Theirs is the story of gospel advance as Phil is facing a life and death struggle with cancer. God is glorified that despite the predictions of imminent death, Phil lives. Even more, God is glorified that whether Phil lives or dies, Phil and Monika live in Christ. Listen to their story. One day, if not already, we will face the ultimate test of our faith. Listen to a couple who have looked death in the face and are no longer afraid. They have fought and won. Their faithfulness has prepared the way for movements of disciples and churches across New Zealand.
Multiplying movements are not the result of crunching numbers, of strategy and tools. They require flesh and blood. Brokenness and faithfulness. Power in weakness. Treasure in clay pots. We cannot go further or higher than our Saviour, he leads the way. He suffered, so will we. He triumphed and in him, so do we.