The Math of Multiplying Disciples



Feb 13


Suzie Botross

I’ll never forget commencing my university degree and discovering that I needed to do a math subject.

What did a Bachelor of Business have to do with math? “Everything” I hear you say!

Well, I had hoped that my relationship math would have ended after high school because quite frankly, to me, math seemed like some freaky blood stained corpse on the Ghost Train who had jumped out from behind a dark uni door unexpectedly. And yet there I was signing up for a degree with a first semester subject called “Quantitative Analysis.”

My fears and my mathematical incompetence collided and I managed to fail that subject rather impressively. The quickest foreseeable way to passing this nightmare math unit was to do it as a 3 week summer school program. I recall my dad offering to pay the $700 upfront fee and warning me sternly, “Do not fail, this is costing good money.”

I tried to blame my subject fail on my mum’s death a few months prior, but I knew well and good that math just wasn’t compatible with me. Thankfully, I have overcome my math trauma since those days and now I know how to multiply, not just add. Math has not only been a life skill in recent years, but it has served me well on the discipling front. Let me explain.


A Defining Conference

A number of years ago I was invited as the guest speaker at a large women’s conference where approximately 2000 women were present. The crowd was amazing. The atmosphere was electric. The event was lavish. My keynotes were deep and impactful. But the experience was crushing. The event hostess, who I was desperate to impress, barely said two words to me. She was too busy and star struck with a celebrity in the speaker line up. The celebrity was humble and down to earth, but her mere presence resulted in me being overlooked. I felt 5c worth.

That day broke me for months. But God never wastes our broken pieces; consequently, He did a hefty work in my life and humbled me in ways that almost physically hurt.

I recall sharing this experience openly and telling others how God had taught me that even if there was ONE person in future crowds who was impacted by what I had to share, I would be fine with that. This conviction and mindset kept me going for years. I reminded myself that if Jesus left the 99 sheep and went in search of the one, then that principle was good enough for me, too.

I walked onto every future stage reminding myself that I was not the sum total of the accolades I received but that I was only performing for an audience of 1. Not only did God know my heart needed some humble pie, but He also knew that my mind needed some humble math, and this resonated with me as plain and simple addition. 1+1=2.  One of me plus one of God equals two. That’s all I need, right? Right.

Well actually, it was right for that season but I have come to realise that it’s not right for me in my current season. But that simple math equation was my life line though that crushing period, and because math scares me (less now than it did in university) I stuck to what is simple, straight forward and risk free. That simple sum was working for me.


Advanced Multiplication

Recently God challenged me to advance to multiplication. It occurred to me that it’s time for me to stretch and develop new mindsets and step into my calling in a greater way. I’m no longer satisfied with impacting one person only. Jesus didn’t do that. The disciples didn’t do that. I am called to impact thousands!

Hold up. How on earth does wanting to impact thousands align to that humility lesson God tried to teach me at that women’s conference all those years back? Good question.

I have come to realise that God is into the multiplication game. He wants me to not only impress, inspire and impact, but to equip others to make disciples who make disciples. Jesus has flipped my equation on its head. He’s taught me that I’m not created for 1+1=2, I’m created for big numbers. Big numbers that I can’t even calculate on a calculator. Check out this multiplication table to see what I mean. If I equip 1 person who goes off to equip another, who goes off to equip another (2 Timothy 2:2), then by the power of multiplication, in 30 years I will have indirectly impacted 1,073,741,824 people! Stop it! (See table below).

1 365 people 2 people
5 1,825 people 32 people
10 3,650 people 1024 people
20 7,300 people 1,048,576 people
30 10,950 people 1,073,741,824 people

Are you into addition or are you into multiplication

I’m no longer motivated by merely inspiring my audiences, I’m sold out to equipping disciples who make disciples who make disciples. I’m a big girl now. I’ve moved onto hard compound math!

Suzie Botross