The Principle Of Seeds

Growing a church is hard. If it wasn’t, more people would undertake this bold, Godly challenge.

There is a temptation in ministry is to find someone’s formula and copy it. The thought is, if it worked in that church, then it will work in mine. This thought can actually be a hindrance to growth.

The church must be versatile –  it takes various types of churches to reach various types of people. What works in Southern California may not work in Virginia.

It’s a basic thought and yet incredibly difficult to work out and accept.

One thing that has helped me is to see the church through the principle of seeds.

There are certain agricultural principles that work almost anywhere – but not every seed produces fruit in every soil. You must know the soil of your church in order to plant seeds that will grow and flourish.

If your church is stuck, plateaued, or declining in attendance, think about the soil of your area. If you don’t know your soil, start there.

When we invest in an unchurched person, we learn about the soil in our area. What are the reasons the unchurched don’t attend our churches? An unchurched person may not be able to tell us how to do a church service, but they give us great insight into the reasons why people don’t cross our thresholds.

Think about it this way – how noticeable is it when someone from out of town moves to our area? There are certain behaviors and thoughts that often set them apart. They don’t know the area well so it can be easy to identify an outsider who moves in.

We know the area in which we live. In order to impact the soil, we must plant seeds that are right for the spiritual soil of our areas. God grows the seeds, but God uses us to do the planting.

Provide the right seed for the soil and you will see a harvest. Resist this principle and you will work yourself aimlessly and see little fruit.

It sounds simple, but we often stumble with this principle. A few years ago I heard of a great campaign at a church. It was new and exciting. Without too much thought and even less prayer, I launched it at my church. I set up a registration, wrote a personal letter inviting people, and set up a web page for more information. When the registrations started coming in we had more people say “No thank you” then, “Yes.” As soon as I saw this I remembered the soil. My area is not a big business, major city. The idea that worked so well in a large corporate area was adamantly rejected here. It was a tough but meaningful lesson to learn.

It’s easy to get stuck, but you don’t have to stay that way. With planning dedicated to understanding our communities, we can uncover the greatest needs in our areas. Start meeting those needs and you’ll experience the principle of the seeds.



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