A Multiplication Story

By Peter Meier   |   September 1, 2019

When I was a child, I had a Golden Book which told the story of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The pictures were illustrations taken from Disney’s Fantasia, and featured Mickey Mouse as the Apprentice. Do you remember the story? It’s based on a poem by the German poet, Goethe, Der Zauberlehrling, written in 1797.

In the story, the old wizard, the Sorcerer, left his workshop, leaving his apprentice with jobs to do, one of which was fetching water with a pail. The apprentice quickly tired of that task. Using the Sorcerer’s magic wand, he casts a spell on a broom, enchanting it to do the work for him. The broom quickly brings the water, and goes back for more, and soon the room is awash with water – too much water!

The apprentice realizes that he is not fully trained in his master’s magic arts, and cannot stop the broom. But he has another idea! He takes an axe and chops the broom in two. Now, each of the pieces becomes a whole broom that takes up a pail and continues fetching water, now at twice the speed. At this increased pace, the entire room quickly begins to flood. He tries to chop the brooms to pieces, but each multiplies again and again. With the floodwaters rising and the brooms multiplying, the old sorcerer returns and quickly breaks the spell.

Even as a child, what struck me about the story is how those brooms multiplied. While I have never been a great mathematician, I was fascinated by the concept of multiplication.

Multiplication is what the Center for United States Missions has been about since it began its mission work 20 years ago. We began with the vision of multiplying new churches – churches which would plant more churches, churches planting churches that plant churches! That aligns with Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples who make more disciples. It’s what God envisioned from the start as he told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28).

While God’s command in Eden was not about church planting per se, it set the bar for everything God made, including disciples who make more disciples who make still more disciples who gather in groups of disciples who multiply those groups (churches).

While the Center for U.S. Missions will complete its mission work at the close of this year, the Mission of God will continue until Jesus returns. That means the church will continue to multiply. As the Center prepares to finish our work, we want to see a multiplication story no less fantastic than the Sorcerer’s Apprentice!

Our goal is to follow Paul’s pattern, as described to Timothy, 2 Timothy 2:2, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” We intend to multiply trainers who will take the core trainings we have used and teach others. These core trainings are Churches Planting Churches and Church Planting Essentials.

Thanks to the generosity of several donors, we are making these trainings available free of charge to pastors, congregation leaders, church planters and their teams at our Power Week, September 23-27 in Bloomington, MN. We also want to train and certify trainers who will take these powerful church multiplication trainings to their districts, networks, and wherever God opens doors.

These trainings are presented in partnership with Dynamic Church Planting International, our long time church multiplication partner. By partnering with DCPI, we participate in their vision of planting 5 million new churches globally. By multiplying the number of Certified Trainers through our Power Week, we pray that God will multiply the interest and commitment to start new churches in new places to reach new people!

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was about an ill-prepared apprentice misusing magic, the results being nearly disastrous. Our trainings are all about seeking God’s power to partner with Him in His mission – to make and multiply disciples so that people are saved from disaster, and given the free gift of eternal life!

To find out more about our trainings and Power Week or to register, take a look here. Please note the registration deadline of Sept 12; after that date, cost will be $249 per team per training.

The first 35 planters/teams to register for the Church Planting Essentials will receive a copy of Bob Logan’s newest book for church planters, The Church Planting Journey (2019), and a copy of Logan’s Guide for Discipling.

Join us in living this multiplication story!


Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website: www.c4usm.org

Center for U.S. Missions – Contact Information 

Email us at: | Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, Executive Director; peter.meier@cui.edu  | Rev. Eric Wenger, Director of Mission Coaching; ewenger@livingraized.com| Kathy Meier, Coordinator; kathy.meier@cui.edu  | Mil Behnken, Office Manager; mildred.behnken@cui.edu