Why Multiply? [Part 1/12]

Theory Shapes Practice

‘A theory is the highest level of understanding we have of anything in this world.’[i] – Neil deGrasse Tyson


Photograph courtesy of @5tep5


This is the first in a series of 12 posts about church growth. However, it is neither a heroic narrative of my own hard-won personal achievements nor is it an instruction manual on how to grow your own particular congregation. Instead, what follows will focus on something which is far more important in relation to church growth – theory.

To my mind, it is more helpful to consider theory than practice, because a theory sets the trajectory for everything which follows. In general, good theories inspire good practices, while poor theories inspire poor practices. Therefore, if we want to see churches grow, we must get our thinking straight (Romans 12.2). 

In the posts to follow, I will draw from a range of disciplines (e.g. biology, history and mathematics) in order to demonstrate that the theory of multiplication is not only written into the fabric of creation (Genesis 1.28), but also that it is also written into the fabric of the renewed creation. As a result, I will argue that we must do everything we can to align our present practices with this ancient theory [ii].



The disruption which we are currently enduring with the pandemic could help to get us back on track, if in this time we choose to embrace a new normal, with the theory of multiplication as our new guiding principle for church growth. This could make us fit for God’s redemptive purposes in the world once again. If that happens, then at least some of the pain of this present moment will not have been in vain.




[i] Cited from ‘Neil deGrasse Tyson Teaches Scientific Thinking and Communication: The Frontier of Science (6:15-6:20)’ on masterclass.com, viewed on the 18th July, 2020. https://www.masterclass.com/classes/neil-degrasse-tyson-teaches-scientific-thinking-and-communication/chapters/the-frontier-of-science.

[ii] If you would to read these 12 posts in an Ebook, just email dan.rogers@liverpool.anglican.org and it will be sent it to you as a PDF file.