Church planting isn’t for the faint of heart. Neither is evangelism and outreach. Both require men and women who are willing to place their life, substance, families, careers and talents on the line for the sake of the kingdom of God. We can learn a lot more about church planting and outreach from a group of farmers than we can from a group of businessmen. The similarities of a farmer and a church planter, or one given to outreach, are enlightening to say the least.
Church planting is messy – The gospel is not made for the ivory and glass towers of social comfort. Men are dying without Christ and need to be rescued. However, getting into their lives can be messy and complicated. But, let us remember that we have the answer, and we must not shrink back from the call. After all, Jesus is our example and our messy lives did not keep Him from entering our world of sin and shame.
Church planting is a challenge – Farming requires the challenge to break up hard ground in preparation of the seed. Likewise, people can be hard and afraid to trust others, and for good reason. Let us be genuine friends to sinners, and let us have pure motives. Men will open up the issues of their life if they feel we are honest, respectful and caring.
Church planting is hard work – Farmers spend back breaking hours working the soil and crops in anticipation for a good harvest. Likewise, as church planters, we can expect hours of hard work, mentally and physically, as we prepare the soil we are working in.
Church planting is under appreciated – Few fully appreciate the work which goes into the produce isle at the local grocery. Likewise, late comers to your church plant will take for granted the lessons learned and the wisdom gained through the long hours of ministry and training.
Church planting is tiring – The work can create a roller coaster of emotions as you swing from joy to disappointment. This is especially true when, like a farmer, you seem to be doing a lot of planting and preparation and the crop hasn’t sprouted yet.
Church planting is rewarding – Seeing the crop come to fruition is the highlight of a farmer’s life. All the sweat, blood and tears have produced visible results which justify his hard work. Likewise, the product of our long hours will not seem rewarding until we see the fruition of changed lives through the power of the gospel.
These things also apply to outreach and evangelism. Get out there brothers. Enter the trenches of life and allow the Lord to direct you into the harvest field. Plow a straight line by not looking back to the things of this world. Sow the good seed of the Word of God and trust the results to the Lord of the harvest. Men are perishing, lives and families are being destroyed by the enemy. Let us leave the comfort of casual church, place our hands into the soiled lives of others, and get dirt under our fingernails!