Worth Reading: Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World

One of the best books I read in 2022 was Bob McNabb’s Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World: Why Some Disciple-Makers Reproduce When Others Fail.

The book uses the personal experience of the author and research to answer the questions:

  • Why do some fruitful disciple-makers cease to be fruitful?
  • Why do some disciples become fruitful disciple makers and others do not?

The Answers are not complex. And they would be rather easy to implement for the church or leader that has the will.


  1. Evangelism training should be emphasized and ongoing and not just a one-off or a one-time event.
  2. Those who are part of a small group devoted to evangelism are the most effective at disciple-making.
  3. Effective Disciple Making Groups spend time talking about evangelism, praying for the lost, and doing something evangelistic every time they meet.
  4. Effective Disciple Making Groups define multiplication as their reason for existence.
  5. Effective disciple-makers have disciple-making leaders who model evangelism and disciple-making for them.
  6. Effective disciple-makers put themselves in a position to meet new people regularly and share the gospel early in relationships.

A lot of other research-based observations about effective evangelists and disciple-makers. You can take his survey and find other helpful resources mentioned in the book at McNabb’s website SpiritualMultiplication.org.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • Those involved in ongoing evangelism training led twice as many people to Christ as those who weren’t. 
  • Becoming a part of a team that evangelizes together is the most important thing you can do if you want to multiply disciples. 
  • The groups that do the best job of helping their members grow and multiply disciples are the groups that meet for the express purpose of being a disciple-making team. 
  • Jesus’ goal was never to build individual disciples. He built a team and expected them to build other disciple-making teams called churches. 
  • Following involves fishing. If you are not fishing, you are not following. Churches are supposed to help their members be successful at catching fish and helping those fish mature and multiply. 
  • “Rather than asking the question ‘Are we growing?’ we need to ask, ‘Are our members leading people to Christ?’ and ‘Are they successfully helping new converts grow into mature believers?'”
  • Wherever you find disciples exponentially multiplying, you will find an emphasis on training. 
  • Highly effective disciple-makers average twice as much time discussing evangelism, praying for the lost, and actually doing evangelism together with others in their small group as non-effective disciple-makers. 
  • Most groups that function well as a disciple-making team define multiplication as their reason for existence. 
  • There is a clear relationship between prayer for the lost and disciple-making effectiveness. 
  • While the bible plainly characterizes evangelism as a process, it does not teach waiting to talk about Jesus with someone until after one has developed a friendship. 
  • Respondents who usually shared the gospel within the first few times they met someone exposed an average of 52 people to the gospel annually. This average fell to 15 for those who waited to share the gospel until an ongoing friendship was established and 25 for those who employed a mixed approach. 
  • Those who shared the gospel within the first few times of meeting someone led more than 400% more people to Christ on average each year than those who waited to establish an ongoing relationship, and they led 44% more people to Christ on average each year than those who approached evangelism with a mixed approach. 
  • Disciple-makers who said they were a part of a small group that spent at least 20 minutes weekly discussing evangelism, 20 minutes praying for the lost, and 20 minutes doing some sort of evangelism together are far more effective than those who didn’t. 

Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World is challenging, inspiring, and practical. A great resource for personal development as a disciple-maker and to be given to those in your disciple-making team. There is also a Study Guide and a companion book called Foundations that are referred to in the book that can be used in small group or team settings.

About Lane Corley

I am - Follower of Jesus Christ - Husband to the beautiful and patient Heather Corley - Father of three. - Church Planter / Church Planting Strategist with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. - When I can, I’m reading, raised bed gardening, deer hunting, and on mission with my church. - Hoping to be helpful.

Posted on January 20, 2023, in Books worth reading, Discipleship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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