It’s winter, the fields are brown and barren and the crop is in the bin.
Those of us who live in farm communities know it didn’t get there by accident. We know that farmers, perhaps more than any other profession, practice a special kind of faith. After the crop is planted, they do as much as they can to make sure the plants have a good start, but after that they pretty much leave the nurturing and growing to God. Farmers must have faith that God will provide the climate and the moisture it needs to flourish and mature. During the growing season they turn their thoughts to the harvest and maintenance and repair of harvest equipment, on the presumption, or faith, that God will provide a harvest. Then when the harvest is over, they reinvest in the future by spending a small fortune on seed corn and beans for next year. It’s a marvelous example of what I would call active faith. Farmers have working partnership with God. They do what they can and then trust God, for not only this year’s harvest, but also for future harvests.
It seems to me that churches could learn something from them. We need to be thinking ahead. It’s true that if we plant, we may get a crop, but if we haven’t performed maintenance on our equipment, how will we harvest it? Neither can we be satisfied once the crop is in the bin. During the bleakest, coldest part of the year, when the fields seem barren, the farmer is actively engaged in planning for spring. In the interest of efficiency and maximum yields, they figure out what seed numbers would be right for what field and then reinvest themselves and their savings in tomorrow’s hope. I’ve been in church communities long enough to observe that church growth seems to go in cycles, much like growing seasons. If my analogy is correct, then it seems to me our churches are in the winter part of the cycle. This is the time for re-evaluation, planning and reinvestment. This is a good time to ask ourselves, “How can we most efficiently use the resources we have to make new Disciples for Jesus Christ?” This is the perfect season to reinvest ourselves
If it is true we are in the winter of our growing cycle, it must also be true that spring is just around the corner. Active faith requires that we must be ready to plant when the time is right. Let me assure you that God loves being in a working relationship with us and is ready and able to make sure our crop grows.
Grace and Peace To You,
Click here to read of the February Newsletter!