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The Growing Seed

Posted by Brian Roberg at Dec 16, 2008 11:55 AM |

Jesus' parable of the growing seed instructs us regarding what makes ministry successful:

And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.  He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.  The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.  But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." (Mark 4:26-29, ESV)

This tells us that while a person can participate in the growth of God's kingdom through sowing and reaping, the real growth happens independently of his efforts.  In other words, we have the opportunity to minister to others but it's the Spirit of God that changes a person's heart.

This idea also informs our approach to technology.  Much of our work in DiscipleMakers' Systems Department can be described as "scattering seed."  We apply technology to the needs of our ministry in hopes that it will bear fruit.  How exactly it bears fruit is often not in our hands.  In fact, this is when the job is most exciting: we are most effectively equipping our co-laborers when we put tools in their hands which they can use to accomplish things in ministry we hadn't even envisioned.

This happens in all kinds of ways.  Some are small, such as helping a co-worker discover a feature of her email client that helps her be just a little bit more effective in corresponding with people.  Sometimes, though, an application of technology can be truly world-changing.  I often think of the development of TCP/IP, an innovation that may be the most important invention of the twentieth century.

Of course, it's improbable that the Systems Department will dramatically change the world's technological landscape.  That's not the point, after all.  Rather, we contribute our efforts toward the mission to make disciples for Christ among college students.  Through the work of the Spirit, that's an effort that will yield a great harvest.

Photo by Gerardo Villalobos, used under a Creative Commons license.


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