God's Operating System

Written by Obe Arellano on May 24, 2022 in Pastoral Helps

Today's guest blog was written by Obe Arellano, Co-founder and Executive Director of Exponential Español.

I think Algebra was Jesus' favorite class in high school! Because God has been multiplying from the beginning.

  • In Genesis 1:28, God told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply."
  • In Genesis 9:1, God told Noah and his sons to “be fruitful and multiply.”
  • In Genesis 26:4, God told Isaac, “and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven.”
  • When God's people were driven from their land and exiled to Babylon, even there, God said to his people: "Multiply there..." (Jeremiah 29:6)

And multiplication is something we should still be doing today. The reason we are here today as followers of Jesus is for multiplication. And the way we're going to help take the gospel to the next generations of your children and your children's children and your children? You guessed it, multiplication!

Multiplication is God's formula to fulfill his desire for every person on earth to hear the gospel of Jesus.

Multiplication is the operating system of the Kingdom of God.

At Exponential Español, we define a multiplying church as a church that reproduces up to the 4th generation. That is to say: a church that plants another church, that plants another that plants a new church.

But I think the church has forgotten the mandate to multiply. Today, 99.99% of the churches in America are NOT multiplying.

Exponential researched to find out the state of the church when it comes to multiplication and we discovered that there are five levels that each church we studied fell into. Here are the five levels.

  • Level 1 – Subtraction
  • Level 2 – Stagnant
  • Level 3 – Addition
  • Level 4 – Reproduction
  • Level 5 – Multiplication

The church in level one is in decline. These churches are losing membership and impact their community, and many of these will permanently close their doors.

The stagnant church is experiencing neither growth nor decline. Stagnation is shared by churches of varied membership, from 50 to 5,000.

The alarming thing about these first two levels is that 80% of the churches in the United States fall into these two categories. 

The churches in level three also known as “addition” churches are experiencing growth. Their efforts are seeing results. But only 13% of churches today are growing.

The fourth level is a “reproduction” church is a number that is slowly increasing. Seven percent of churches reproduce by sending planters and people to start new churches or new campuses.

If you are good at math, you may have already done the addition and realized that the first four levels cover almost 100% of the churches, and you may be wondering, “So what is the percentage of the multiplication level 5 churches?”

The truth is that there are very few churches that are experiencing multiplication.

Only 0.01% of the churches are multiplying. 

This is a problem. 

But the good news is that God offers us the solution: the Great Commission!

When Jesus began to call some people to follow him, he told them that he would teach them to fish for men. He was preparing them for his multiplication operating system (Matthew 4:19).

The last thing that Jesus said to his followers just before he ascended to Heaven was this:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. ” (Mathew 28:19-20)

Jesus is calling us all to multiply.


You know, I could talk about multiplying churches all day long. Still, the reality is that if we, as disciples of Jesus, don't make disciples who make disciples who make disciples, we won't be able to multiply his kingdom. And that is the job of every follower of Jesus.

I believe that the Church has failed to see multiplication because it has centralized the great commission. Instead of sending all your members with permission and authority to make disciples where they already live, work, study, and play, you have created discipleship classes by asking new believers to take the course. That has made the majority of followers of Jesus dependent on the institutional church.

If we give permission, activate gifts, and send them to make disciples in the places where they already make life, we can see the multiplication of the kingdom of God.

Multiplication is not about the church finding more temples or auditoriums to multiply. It is about the disciples of Jesus coming out of the four walls and making more disciples who make more disciples who make more disciples.

In 2022, Exponential Español is helping leaders, pastors, and churches multiply disciples through the theme “EMPOWERED: Moving With The Spirit.”

This past May 13 and 14, we had our first conference in Orlando, Florida. It was a fantastic time. We had training time with 15 workshops on multiplication, church planting, effective leadership, healthy church ministries, and reproduction culture. The five main sessions focused on Empowered Heart, Empowered Life, Empowered Culture, Empowered Movement, and Empowered Moment.

If you missed the conference, you have another chance. On October 21 and 22, we will hold the conference in Los Angeles, California. You can see more information, and you can register here.

At Exponential, our vision is to see that multiplication becomes an accepted measure of success for the Church. We believe that you are the movement's creator, and we are here to help you!

Serving church and ministry leaders and planters is StartCHURCH’s core foundation, and we are ready to help protect and grow what God has called you to lead. If you would like to learn more about our products or services, please contact us at (855) 337-4964 or schedule a call below.


Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Raul Rivera

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