I actually grew the carrots pictured above in my garden last year. This is how I grow carrots. I designate a small area, turn the ground, use a spoon to smooth the area and bring a little dirt to the area. Sprinkle the five packs of seeds in the area, and cover them up lightly with dirt. Then, I wait and wonder if they will grow.
I watch them and water the dirt and then one day little green tops pop up. A week later a ton of green tops are up. Now at this point, you are supposed to thin the carrots. Yes, actually pull up something that is growing well and discard it so the ones left can grow better. This is hard to do and while I did it a little, I always think about whether the ones left will grow!
Well, they grew (and I didn’t thin them much) and as my daughter helped me pick them we came across these two carrots. Aren’t they cute? I dubbed them the hugging carrots. The two carrots flesh did not fuse together, but the small one actually popped out and then fit back in to the larger one in its place.
So, how does this relate to church planting? Well, these past couple of weeks have been some sad times in our small, but growing church. People’s faith is being tested and put through the ringer. I won’t air our business here, but imagine something sad and multiply it by four.
As we grow and welcome new people into the church, we get new personalities and gifts. When we first started, it would have been me suggesting and organizing meals or getting the kids to write some cards. Not this time. Other people just did it. It’s no longer just my husband, the pastor, reaching out to encourage the men, it’s other men who are doing this.
You see we are working hard to build a church not built on committees and politics, but built on the love of Jesus. Jesus was action. He taught through parables so people would understand. We are striving to show Jesus’ love in action.
This is how we are like those carrots. There is now a church family that cares for the others in the church and can reach out to hug them. People can reach out and know they can lean on others from our church. It all fits. Is it perfect? No. But it is a sign that we are moving from the thought that the “pastor and his wife do everything” to people saying yes and seeing a need and being there to help or comfort.
Luke 12:35-36 says, “Be dressed and ready to serve. Keep your lamps burning. Be like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding dinner. When he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once.” Are you ready to serve? Are you ready to be the carrot and allow others to lean on you as you grow in your relationship with Jesus and as you use your talents and gifts? If you are, don’t wait for someone else to do what you see needs to be done. Reach out and learn to let someone lean on you. And if the tables turn, learn to lean on someone else. After all, if we can’t support fellow believers then what is the point?