Saturday, November 6, 2010

Time Value of Money

"The most powerful force in the world is compound interest." - Albert Einstein

I have also heard that Einstein also called the Time Value of Money the 8th wonder of the world. And it is pretty amazing. Let's say I invested $1000 right now, and it earned 8% annually (which is unreal today), compounding. I'm 23, so I'll let it sit until I'm 53, a good 30 years. When I pull it out, it will be $10000. Just for letting money sit there. Let's say 10%: ~$17500. 20%: ~$237400! Crazy, huh?

So for those of you who are like, "JP, what are you talking about," this is where I'm going. I heard a man speak this past Saturday on discipleship and disciple-making. He kind of used an illustration like this. What started by taking the world's population today of 6.857 billion (rounded for ease) and said, "If we were able to bring 10000 people to the Lord everyday, it would take approximately 1877 years to save them all." That's a long time. But, he proposed, "what if every year I discipled 5 guys, then those guys discipled 5 more, and those 5 more, all the while continuing to disciple another 5 guys each year myself?" So one man makes 5 disciples like himself, what kind of return is that? 500%! It would be absolutely preposterous to see return like that in the financial world!!! So if we apply the concept of Time Value of Money, changing the terms to 1 disciple puts himself into a process which returns 500%. For 1 year: 6 disciples; 2 yrs.: 36 disciples; 5 yrs.: (catch this) 7776. Wait, what? 1 guy, 5 years of discipling 5 guys, results in 7776 disciples? No way! Well, it gets better. 6 yrs.: 46656; 7: 279936; 8: 1679616; 9: 10077696. So at some point between 8 and 9 years, the entire world would be a disciple. Even the population growth rates cannot over come this kind of return!

While this is a ideal model of discipleship, not accounting for death of disciples or others not going on to discipling 5 each time, seeing the possible effect of 1 man is staggering... One man... In 2nd Timothy 2:2, Paul tells Timothy: "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." It's amazing to see how far one man's life can make a difference...

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