Oh, Spring is in the air – along with the pollen! This time of year reminds me of my dad. He grew up on a farm and brought that agricultural mentality with him years later when he raised a garden in town. As children my sister and I thought it was a good idea to plant seeds when the first signs of spring came calling. But he reminded us that he took advice from old farmers when they always waited until Good Friday to plant. Every year his gardens did well based on this logic.
As we finally enter into warmer weather after a cold winter, many of us are getting our yards and gardens ready for new growth. It is always a joy to see the fruits of our labor brought on by our hard work. Of course, it wouldn’t happen if we didn’t prepare for it first. The Biblical principle of “whatever a man soweth that shall he also reap” applies in our own lives and in churches.
Here are four good spiritual planting steps you might need to do this spring to reap the benefits later on. Any one of these actions could renew your life as well as your church.
Plant some new challenges in your life. How long ago was it when you took advantage of some training to be a better minister? Are you just maintaining the status quo and working toward a slow death? If it has been awhile on either question, it might be good to get some seeds planted. How can you challenge your lay leaders in your church to be better Christians if you don’t take on some new efforts yourself? A renewed energy from you, the leader, spills over to your congregation. Everyone benefits!
Plant new leadership seeds in your church. Who will be the next generation of church leaders? No church just instantly gets ready made leaders. They are nurtured after they are called but someone has to plant the seed first. Will it be you? If not you, who can help you in this calling?
Plant a new ministry. If your church has plateaued in attendance, consider this approach. It might be that your church needs a new direction. New opportunities planted correctly have a greater degree of success because they have been given room to grow. They also have a greater yield for the Kingdom than the older established ones do. You might even use some of your new leadership seeds to get these ministries going.
Plant a new partnership with another church(es) in your community. Gone are the days that one church can be all things for the people who come there. There is not enough money or manpower today to get the job done. In my work with churches I remind church leaders that we all need to work together. If we don’t, we die together! That axiom is truer today than ever before. Break down your wall of isolation! Other churches are in the same predicament. Working together sharing ideas and resources will benefit everyone involved. If you don’t know how or want to find a better way than what you are presently doing, we can get you started.
Maybe you can come up with other potential opportunities for growth. But remember that they won’t happen if there is no planting. Happy gardening!
The thoughts above are from Steve Zimmerman, the founding partner in the ministry. He works alongside churches in their mission process and small group dynamics. He coordinates the work of the partnership out of Danville, Virginia. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at 336.214.3958 or firstname.lastname@example.org