By Cailey Morgan
I heard a talk from Marc Pilon, a young and energetic church planter in Montreal. He says this about his approach to ministry:
“Sow, sow, sow! Sow abundantly and forests will grow: small seeds, trembling faith…Who knows: God may do something! If you’re going to lose sleep church planting, do it sowing, not waiting anxiously to see if something will grow.”
My gut reaction is to tell him to slow down–to discern and plan and use time wisely. But as I think more about it, I realize that sometimes my “planning” time is not wise or discerning at all; rather, it’s an excuse to not get anything done and not be on the hook for results!
Of course there needs to be due process and good stewardship of resources, but is it possible that our fear of failure has made us meticulous to the point of stagnating? If we want to see change in our neighbourhoods, change in our churches, change in our culture, we need to start with change in ourselves: “Who knows: God may do something!”
I’m thankful for my history of growing up in a church plant where it was understood that in order to reach people who aren’t currently hearing the Gospel, we need to get creative and enter their contexts. This attitude of “try everything” made for a few embarrassing flunks along the way, but it also gave lots of grace and space for those on the margins to enter a safe community.
Marc Pilon continues, “Do we complexify our task too much? Do we make ministry so complicated that we get caught up in the little things instead of sowing abundantly?”
Ed Stetzer, a church planter and leading researcher on church planting and growth, would agree: he says that movements become movements when they are reproducible at every level. When we make our mission focus too complex, it’s hard to develop the next generation of leaders. When we complicate the Gospel, we hamstring our evangelism. Instead, let us remember the simple way Christ shared His ministry: “Come and See,” then, “Follow me,” then “Go and make disciples.”
I pray for each of you in your ministry and community that the seeds you sow will grow by God’s power, and that those you are discipling, even little seedlings, would reflect the prophecy of Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”