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The Multiplier Effect

August 3, 2011

The other day I went to see someone who had redeveloped their house. I imagine it was a reinvestment of many thousands – new fittings, extended rooms, new bathrooms and so on. In a previous life as a Christian Pharisee (a contradiction in terms? Maybe, but I don’t think I’m the only one!) I would have judged the owners without thinking.

But there’s something wonderful about this house. The owners, a family with young kids, have opened it up as a strategic centre for Christian retreat and meetings. These guys don’t just have a luxury lifestyle that drops breadcrumbs to others. The kitchen people use when they stay is their kitchen. The spare rooms and bathrooms are a dormitory they offer to regional leaders. The costs (and benefits) of hospitality are shared by the whole family at various points throughout the year.

The whole thing struck me as a great example of The Multiplier Effect. The Multiplier Effect goes beyond simply saving money (which is why it can be hard for Christian Pharisees to spot); it depends on an investment of money. These guys had invested in their house, but the reason was to bless others in multiple ways. The new (larger) house provides hospitality, gathers Christians, saves other organisations money, adds the value of real homely sharing, and promotes mission.

So now I’m on the look out for multipliers. Solar panels on a church roof (money invested, benefits to green economy (some can be reinvested in better solar technology), a symbolic act in the community, money multiplies through electricity generation, and so on). Lunch at a Fair Trade cafe. Buying from a charity shop.

The Multiplier Effect goes beyond simple calculations of plus and minus. It’s risky and involving (and sometimes hard to measure – another tough gnat for Pharisees to swallow). But it smells alot to me like the kingdom at work…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2011 3:20 am

    Is there some way we can contact said family, such as a link? What they are doing sounds similar to what we’re dreaming about over in Germany. Email it to me if you want…

    • Mark permalink*
      September 5, 2011 11:39 pm

      Hi Andy,

      Could you send me a few more details about yourself and what you’re thinking of? If so, I’ll try to put you in touch with them (



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