It only makes sense to review these book together seeing that they both deal with two sides to the same coin.
How do we effectively make disciples for Christ?
Follow Christ and Lose our Life.
Essentially Multiply is the companion book for the series that is available free online. This 24-week series is one of the staple studies of our small group curriculum. In fact it will be my priority to use this study series as the first study with my new church plant. Francis tackles the audacious task of developing a system for disciples making disciples. The book follows the 24 studies online and serves as an expanded commentary to be done in conjunction with the videos. If you have already been using the multiply movement materials then you are almost certainly aware of much of the content of this book. Where I found it helpful was to have written down much of what Francis talks about in that video. This book is flooded with scriptural content and is a challenging read for what Evangelical Christians should be doing to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Multiply is comprehensive and will take you the best part of 6 months to work through. Once you’ve finished you’ll find yourself constantly working through the materials and referring back to it time and time again. Plus assuming you successfully grasp the concept you’ll find yourself using it with others to help them on their walk with Christ. Multiply is a brilliantly challenging self-assessment on both the church and our task as followers of Christ.
I would highly recommend this book and the accompanying materials online for a solid foundation for a discipleship program at your church. Expect to be challenged and confronted with what the expectation of a follower of Christ is seeking to do. Francis casts an audacious challenge that stands in the face of much of our notions of what Church is and makes sharing the gospel and growing Christ a fundamental priority. What should be noted is the injection of Mark Beuving into this conversation. Mark provides a brilliant systematic framework for Chan’s model for multiplication. Where Francis might be the visionary artist, Mark is clearly the enlightened engineer that makes a clear map for change. You might lose some of the scatterbrain-genius of Francis Chan but you gain a systematic elegance to transformation.
Clearly David Platt and Francis Chan are on the same page about this strategy. They both wrote the forwards to each others books and their encounter together in 2011 at a conference led them to start this discipleship endeavour. Where Multiply focuses on the practicalities of the individual to make disciples. Follow Me focuses on the commandment of Christ to follow Him and the depth of what that entails. David’s focus therefore is on what we should do as followers of Jesus, how the church should reflect that model that Christ sets out. It also picks up on the imperative claim from Radical to live different and reach the nations. This harrowing read has a slamming indictment against many modern churches and David re-imagines the command to Follow Christ. Essentially leading us to a place where we must die to ourselves and live completely and radically different. David Platt provides the argument for living differently, Francis Chan provides the tools to do this. Follow Me leaves you with the particular uncomfortability that leads us to a place of change.
What should we focus on?
Is the Believer Prayer Biblical?
What does it me to Follow Christ?
Where does the grand narrative of scripture lead us?
What is our gospel mission?
Both these writers leave us with an ascetic tension to question the lavishness of our lives. If we are given wealth what are we to use it for? With Billions of people who have no access to the gospel should we be flipping 5c out of ever $100 to world mission or do we need to re-imagine that model?
You really shouldn’t read one of these books without reading the other. Honestly you should read David Platt’s first and then get moving on Multiply Movement. David’s argument is the perfect platform for multiplication and change. They are both excellent and challenging books that are going to be a priority in my next church plant.