Exponential is a mathematical term. It means something increases and keeps on increasing more and more. It is kind of like momentum, but it there is a multiplying component to exponential that billows more than simply "moves." It is also the title of the premier church planting conference in North America. Some 300 Wesleyan church planters, pastors, and leaders are in Tampa, Florida, this week to be "Sparked" to more and more exponential growth of disciples who make disciples, along with churches that plant churches.
May we have exponential faith. Belief in the impossible is Jesus' specialty. As his followers, we should have more and more faith in what others think is impossible. The time isn't right. There aren't enough leaders. There isn't enough money. It's the wrong place. There may be hundreds of reasons why something just won't work. Yet Jesus lived the fact that he defied the impossible. If he can defeat physical death in his resurrection, he can overcome anything. Do you believe that? Do you have exponential faith in the power and ability of Jesus?
May we have exponential hope. Hope is a lost commodity today. As I watch the riots in the city of Baltimore, I see a desperate participant trying to find some kind of satisfying hope. As the Supreme Court continues to debate the issue on same-sex marriage, there are all kinds of opinions about what will bring an individual hope in our day. I also see others who cannot believe their eyes and have no sense of hope for the future of our children and cities. Is your hope in government? Is it in you? Do you hope our culture will figure it out and get biblical in her lifestyle? Or is your hope built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, as the hymn suggests? Of all entities and messages of hope that can be ruled on today, the church is truly the hope of the world!
May we have exponential love. The church of Jesus Christ should be an expert at this. As we live in a world of mouths, the church's mouth should be filled with love. Even as we stand for biblical truth, we are to speak that truth in love. We need to ask the Lord to help us grow exponentially in love. Unconditional love that is also expressed in tough love when necessary is a novelty today. It does not mean we are spineless. It does not mean we swallow everything that comes on our cultural plate. It means we will look on people, on our Jerusalem, as well as the corners of the earth, with the eternal love, grace, and truth of Jesus Christ.
Exponential. It is not new math. In fact, it is kingdom math.
Dr. Jim Dunn is executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.