I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow . . . ~ I Corinthians 3:6
READING: Zechariah 4:4-10
Recently, I read an interview of the singer/song-writer Michael Card. He’s not as famous or as flashy as other Christian musicians, but his songs have ministered deeply to my heart. His mentor gave him this sage advice: “Never despise your own gift and never covet another’s.”
Often, up to our hip boots in the work of church planting, we may be tempted to despise our own gift – that burning in our bones that steered us toward church planting instead of accepting what appeared to be the easier path serving in an established church with buildings, trained workers and full sanctuaries on Sunday morning. Or becoming a school teacher or plumber, for that matter!
We can despise the smallness of our church or feel guilty or inadequate that we’ve struggled for so long and have so little to show for it. We may preach great sermons and feel a bit wistful that so few heard.
To be at peace with our church planting gift is to realize that we are called precisely to the small work. We are called to midwife at the birth of a baby church, not necessarily to stay until the church grows up. We are called to plant seeds, to nurture tiny shoots of new growth, and to break new ground where future crops will grow. It may well be the task of others to manage the Lord’s field when grain is tall and extends as far as the eye can see.
Meanwhile, one by one, we can bless precious souls, like Michael Card blessed me.
Dear Father, You who notice even the smallest sparrow, Be pleased to see and enjoy my small work today, and may I faithfully and gratefully exercise the gift You were pleased to give to me. Amen.
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