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Duplos, not Times tables

Have you ever made a photocopy of a photocopy and then realized how terrible the end result was? There was a day when copy machines had such bad dpi that every copy of a copy resulted in a poor final print. Modern copy machines provide a much clearer image the first time around that is capable of duplicating itself much more cleanly.

And here's the big realization: there are buzzwords floating around churches and "feel good" circles that encourage you to multiply yourself--rub off on other people in such a way that you change them in a good way. However, I don't think that should be our end goal. We shouldn't be seeking to find ways to multiply ourselves but rather just to duplicate ourselves. I allude to this in an earlier blogpost about the effectiveness of always mentoring one person at a time. But the idea of duplication helps me to better understand why this is effective.

You see, if you try to capture multiple images in one screenshot, invariably you will end up with some loss of information. The images won't be as clear or may not be legible at all. Perhaps you can identify what they are but not necessarily what they say, etc, etc.
If, instead, you try to duplicate a file as cleanly as possible, you will end up with a near-replica of the first image. If the duplicate has been paid careful enough attention to, you will be able to make a duplicate of the duplicate and so on. Meanwhile, even if you were lucky enough to understand what the multiplied copy said, you probably aren't able to create more copies of it.

This is our call in the church then: to duplicate ourselves as carefully as possible so that the person we mentor can do the same. If we only concern ourselves with multiplication, then our copy will not have enough data in him/her to duplicate themselves and so on.

Let's be Duplos, not a calculator.


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