Investing in people, growing as a faith community

I don’t know how it works everywhere around the globe, but here in the American midwest the seasons of the year are noticeably different. This plays a major role in the process of growing a garden.

Well-groomed gardens require different activities according to the season, and those activities occur daily.

This very same principle of ongoing growth is also very evident and necessary in any faith community in which God is actively working to grow and change lives.

So we must continue to invest in the people around us, serving them, receiving from them, and letting God use those experiences to grow us into communities that create results and change lives for the better. We must recognize that significance occurs within the day-in, day-out process of interacting with others.

Just as we make changes in our gardens according to the seasons of the year, so we must adapt to changes within our communities as they struggle, grow, get pruned, grow some more, and flourish. When the harsh circumstances of winter come, for instance, we must huddle together (like the penguins!) in order to sustain one another.

When the spring and summer months provide us the opportunities, we must share in the work of planting and nourishing. And when it’s time for the harvest, we must be willing to serve and celebrate all that God has done and is doing.
~ Excerpted from A Significant Life by Jim Graff

Before we just assume that this is happening within the faith community we are a part of, let me pose a few questions to consider:

Do you see evidence of God working to grow people in your church family?

What season of the growth cycle is your faith community experiencing?

In what ways are you involved with others in sharing the journey of following hard after Jesus?

Are you praying for your church family, inviting God’s Spirit to work in the lives of others?

In what ways are you personally investing in the lives of others to encourage their growth in Christ?

Are you surrendered to what God is wanting to do in and through you?

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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6 Comments

Filed under Church, Commitment, Discipleship, God, Holy Spirit, involvement with the church, Loving others, Morphing, Prayer, Serving, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth, Surrender

6 responses to “Investing in people, growing as a faith community

  1. The thing that stuck out for me, in the quote from Jim Graff, was the phrase, “receiving from them, and letting God use those experiences to grow us . . .”

    That is probably the hardest thing I’ve learned over the last several months of my spiritual walk . . . that it’s okay to let someone serve you. I don’t think, as human beings, we’re automatically wired for that, or maybe that wire has been severed by the “worldliness” around us. It’s been amazing though, the peace that comes from being served, and then the desire that sprouts (there’s that garden metaphor again 🙂 ) to begin serving others. Have a great day!

  2. I’m going to share this with my husband. We’ve been discussing discipleship in our church too as well. And he’ll be preaching on it in the months ahead.

  3. You ask excellent questions. There are few more joyful moments than seeing the Lord growing those we love and/or lead and/or in whom we have invested a bit of ourselves. Sometimes I feel like we’re really just playing around in the dirt, and God somehow causes beautiful life to grow in and around us.

    • Thanks Judy and I agree with the “playing around in the dirt” comment. So thankful that God’s grace takes our best, yet feeble efforts and makes something special out of it!

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