Pastor’s Manna – What does it take to Grow?
What does it take to Grow?
This fall in worship, we have been talking about trees, their parts and their growth, We have found that in many ways the image of a tree is a pretty good example of our spiritual journey.
Starting from a tree’s root system, to the trunk, to the branches, to the leaves, to flowers, all of these are a part of the overall system of a plant.
Ask an expert and they will tell you that each of these parts of the overall system are a vital part of the larger system. A tree cannot say to itself, I have no need of the root, or the trunk, the branch, or the leaf
… each part is critical to the survival of the tree
… each part is critical to the well-being of the tree
… each part is critical to the growth of the tree
You know what? This isn’t true only for trees. It is true for us!
It is true of our spiritual journey, that the message of God’s grace is foundational. Christian discipline, Christian submission to God, seeking virtuous ways of living are foundational to strengthen us for our journey of faith. Our response to that message stewardship, a sense of belonging, our call, and our relationships are outgrowths of this strong foundation, which allow us to become beautiful examples shining a light in the world, revealing God’s plan, God’s love, God’s redemption of humanity through Christ.
And it is true for Churches!
There are even Bible verses about this. Paul wrote in First Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 about the idea that we are each a part of a larger body, which is dependent upon each unique part to operate.
So, chasing the analogy further
… each part is critical to the survival of the church
… each person is critical to the well-being of the church
… each person is critical to the growth of the church
Each of us… all of us… make or break how a church is … being the church!
-Is a church actively changing the world? or Is change uncomfortable and avoided?
-Is it serving the world? or Is it serving its own members?
-Is a church seeking God’s will? or Is it seeking the will of its own?
-Is a church dedicated to harmony and unity in the spirit?
or Do its members hold grudges against each other?
-Is a church unified in its desire to complete its mission?
or Are there ‘territories’ which are only important to different members?
How are we doing? What, if anything, do we need to change? How can you change your way of being a church member, in order to help the whole church to grow and flourish and point others to the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord?