Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
We were created to be stewards over the earth. We were created to be fruitful, to multiply and to subdue the earth. I’m sure this involved having children, but that misses the bigger story.
In this scripture lies the seeds of understanding how the Kingdom of God works, and how we who are involved in it can have an understanding of its expansive and progressive nature. This still applies today in every endeavour, whether that is church ministry or business or politics.
Remember, God didn’t plant the Garden of Eden across the whole earth. Was He incapable of that? No. But He planted it East of Eden, and now Mankind had the responsibility of taking that environment of Eden and spreading it out across the earth. That is still how the Kingdom of God works. He’s depending on us who are in Christ to continue spreading His goodness and His influence over all the earth.
I first heard this from Caroline Marsh, the British entrepreneur, and it made so much sense to me.
There are three levels of growth in every endeavour and business.
- Level one is Production. This deals with fruitfulness. He says, “Be fruitful.” Produce something. Add value to something and take it to another level. All the parts of a mobile phone come from the ground. It’s just earth! Sunday Adelaja says that the secret of all successful people is that they converted their time into tangible products. Friends of mine produce very nice fresh juice called Birella. That is fruitfulness.
- Level two is Multiplication. This deals with scaling up. God put it in us to multiply and to scale up. That’s the nature of the Kingdom. That’s why every living thing – be it trees, shrubs, animals or insects – is trying to multiply itself, given the right environment. This is the only way to avoid extinction. If you put a herd of cattle together with male and female, they are not going to bring in a consultant in their off-site strategic meeting to decide if they should have calves. It’s just going to happen. It’s natural. Question is, whatever business you’re doing, whatever the nature of your organization, is it scalable? Can you have the same quality of production in a second, third, or thirtieth location? If not, think extinction. That’s why as someone who is passionate about the church, I am naturally passionate about church planting. In line with the earlier example of juice, this is when a juice company figures out how to preserve, package and brand the product, like Splash, Delmonte or Pick and Peel. It will not be as superior a product as Birella, but now it can be distributed to several retailers and people can get it without having to first call the producers.
- Level three is Subduing. This is when whatever you are involved with becomes a movement. This is when the organization or business or whatever you’re up to has multiplication DNA at every level. The multiplication is at so many levels and the growth is so rapid that it seems out of control. At this stage, people don’t think locally, but rather globally. They see their product or influence in faraway places. A good example of subduing, since we are talking drinks, is Coca Cola. You’ll go to any village on earth and they may not have basic medicines, they may not even have heard of Jesus, but they’ll have Coca Cola! Another one is Colgate. There was a time when all toothpaste was called Colgate, even when it was another brand.
This is an excerpt from my latest book, Commotion at the Gate!