Seeds of Faith
Jesus uses seeds a lot in his teachings. He is teaching an agriculturally rich people, so he uses metaphors that they will understand. They get planting. You plant seeds. You make sure they have the right soil. You take care of predators. You make sure they get enough sun and water. When the time comes, you harvest. They know everything you plant doesn’t always grow, even if it has the best conditions. They know that sometimes things grow, even in the worst conditions.
Seeds are a great metaphor. You can plant seeds of faith in others and hope that it grows. Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God made it grow. Because of this, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but the only one who is anything is God who makes it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7-8. The seeds of faith were planted for me at various churches, but especially at Terrace UMC, where I spent my childhood, and Gethsemane UMC, where I spent my teenage years. These churches gave me a great foundation, they allowed me to grow in my faith, and they even set me forth to become a planter to the younger children. This is a discipleship process, we hope that we can grow disciples who in turn grow other disciples.
The seed metaphor also works in churches. You get an idea, a seed, and you plant it and hope that it will grow into a fruitful, sustainable ministry. For much of my life, I have been a seed planter. While I was in college, I was a summer youth director, and many times the church hired a youth director after I left so that the ministry I started could continue. Occasionally, I got to see a young person that was a part of one of those ministries grow into an adult of faith, and it is humbling to think that I played a small part in the faith they claim as their own. I once heard a lecturer say that it is the true mark of a good ministry when you can leave a place and have your ministry continue on without you, and I am overjoyed to see a program I planted at St. Stephen’s, a sister church of ours, continue and blossom. I started Messy Church over there, and the director tells me that people that attended once as participants now volunteer to run different crafts, and some have even decided to join the church.
I have heard a lot of talk about the past of the church lately. It’s wonderful to hear all the ways that God has been at work in the life of the people, and it’s exciting to be somewhere where you can tell that God is readying the soil so that some new seeds can be planted for the future. I can’t wait to see what new ministries will be planted soon, and I hope that you will pray about it with me.