Mission To Multiply 

When Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 “. . . I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it,” He was making a declaration that His Church was going to be an unstoppable force for the kingdom of God. His Church would expand and multiply, and nothing (not death, hell, or the grave) could keep it from its destiny.

We now are the people He uses, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish His mission for such a time as this.  A few months ago, I heard a quote by author Grant Skeldon that stuck with me. The quote went something like this: “The enemy wants to divide the Church. The Church is busy trying to add. But Jesus wants the Church to multiply.” God had already been speaking and stirring this passion for multiplying within me, and the quote resonated in my spirit.

It’s true, Satan does not want a united Church because he knows when we are united, we become the unstoppable force Jesus spoke of. Therefore, his plan is to try to divide people. He attempts to create jealousy, animosity, backbiting, and gossip in our pastors, churches, and cities, rendering God’s people powerless.

Here is what I would add to Skeldon’s mathematical quote: the world wants to subtract the Church. In culture today, we see many attempts to silence the voice and values of the Church. We see the world trying to erase our God-given assignment and impact, trying to remove our influence by portraying the Church as irrelevant and intolerant.

Too often, churches become distracted, focused on trying to add just a few more people, add a few more programs, add a few more outreaches, add a few more dollars, add a few more baptisms. We become trapped at times in a survival mentality, thinking, “Let’s just get through another Sunday.”

Jesus declared that His Church would not just survive but would thrive and multiply. You see this truth in both the Old and New Testaments, that God’s kingdom and His Church are intended, equipped, and empowered to multiply. From the beginning there is a command that carries a promise: God blesses humanity, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Those words are repeated and ripple throughout the pages of Scripture.

The mandate I sensed God speak to my spirit at National Convention in Dallas as Open Bible transitioned into a new season was a clarion call. Open Bible was to embrace and pursue what God has intended for us, to apprehend what we are apprehended for, to live what is in the DNA of our movement. We, as a fellowship and network of churches, could believe together that God wants to multiply His kingdom through every local church, every minister, all our districts and regions, nationally and globally. The leadership in Open Bible is resolute and passionate about serving our local churches and seeing your ministries multiply, understanding that as they do, we experience God’s promise of multiplication together.

You will hear more in the coming weeks and months about how this word from God can be lived out in practical ways. Together in agreement and alignment, we are on a “Mission to Multiply.” We are believing that over the next few years we will see God multiply His kingdom in your churches and ministries. In addition, we will see Him multiply the number of leaders and ministers in Open Bible, the souls being saved, disciples being trained, churches being planted and adopted, and the next generation being raised up and stepping into their destiny. Will you blend your faith and prayers with ours, believing God’s call is for Open Bible to be “fruitful and multiply”? 

“Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will LIVE and MULTIPLY, and you will ENTER and OCCUPY the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors” (Deut. 8:1 NLT, emphasis added). 

Michael Nortune

Michael Nortune serves as president of Open Bible Churches. He has ministered in the local church faithfully for 35 years. From his start as a janitor and groundskeeper to lead pastor of Life Church in Concord, California, Michael has had the opportunity to gain experience in every capacity within the church throughout his ministry. Not only does he have hands-on experience on the local level, but Michael has also led at the district, regional, and national levels within Open Bible Churches. 

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