Wednesday, April 14, 2021

More on sowing/gardening/ being a laborer.....

 April 14, 2021

This is a continuation blog about being a person who sows the gospel with others.  Today's thoughts are from the book Finding Common Ground  - How to Communicate with Those Outside the Christian Community While we Still Can by Tim Downs.  

This book said we are in the middle of a cultural earthquake that may become more violent with time.  It is a difficult time for Christians and it may get worse.  The way Christians are able to share Christ with others is changing.  We need to change with the times and seek ways to share with others.  We must know that bringing people to Christ will not come about only with those in harvesting positions - church and parachurch workers - but it will come because of the laborers, or those who are sowing the seeds, or gardening the patch. 

"In short, we must revalue the role of the sower.  We must encourage a new generation of Christian sowers that their work matters to God, that we are true partners in ministry, and that the fate of future harvests depends on their efforts." (page 32)

One idea emphasized in the book was that we must work at sowing wherever God has planted us.  People working in jobs may have a greater opportunity to witness to many more people than those in the ministry.  So be a sower everywhere you are and to all you come into contact with.  Build relationships where you are and look for ways to share Christ and His love and Truth.  Nehemiah and Esther (both from the Bible), and William Wilberforce (who was in the British parliament and worked to abolish slavery) were mentioned as people who worked from the inside out in that they worked from within their jobs to making a lasting impact for Christ. 

A sower focuses on....preparing the way, persuasion, gradual change, team impact, common ground, questions, and using love, wisdom, and shrewdness.  

The times are different today in that what worked for evangelism in the 1960's and 1970's doesn't work now. At that time spiritual tracts were used as a way of bringing people to Christ.  Today the ground work needs to be laid differently.  The ground is not as ready for harvest as it was in in prior years.  That is why it is all the more important that we begin sowing now and preparing the ground for harvest to come later.  

We may not be able to say things in terms of evangelism that we used to say before but we can say something to everyone we meet. That is what sowing is.  The sower looks around him and sees his neighborhood, his office and sees that there is fruit there.  Some of the fruit is almost ripe and some is very immature to bear fruit yet.  As a sower he knows that he can tend to the fruit in different ways and can encourage the growth in every plant and that none of his efforts will be in vain.  He may not see the fruit of his efforts and someone else may.  That is ok.  The important thing is to cultivate, plant, and nurture where you are! These need not be long drawn-out conversations with a few people but think of this lifestyle as something you do every day, with everyone you meet.  It may be a conversation here, a chat there, listening to someone's problem and showing you care,  or asking a question of someone else. Some times it is just sharing Christ's love with others  without words as the Holy Spirit leads.  

May we see the importance of sowing/gardening/ being a laborer for Christ in all we do!

AND OF COURSE the Holy Spirit MUST be working and leading in all of this!

1 Corinthians 3:5-9

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

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