A few weeks ago, the boys and I visited a local farm to pick strawberries. For those of us who typically buy fruit in plastic containers at the grocery store, there is something exciting about eating food we have picked ourselves. Of course, we did not do the hard work involved in growing the fruit (although my children might say it was hard work to pick enough berries to fill a bucket!) we did enjoy the fruit of someone else’s labor!
In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, Paul writes about growing in faith:
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose…for we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field” (portions of 1 Corinthians 3:6-9).
Growing in our faith requires the work of cultivating, nourishing, and pruning our spiritual lives, but ultimately, the growth we enjoy is a gift of God.
Our church covenant states “As we aspire to keep Jesus at the center of our lives, we are Rooted in Faith, and Growing in Love.” As we begin this new church year, may we recommit ourselves to the work we are called to do as individual followers of Jesus and as a church. A few years ago, we engaged in a congregational study of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase. These five practices include
- Radical Hospitality
- Passionate Worship
- Intentional Faith Development
- Risk-Taking Mission and Service
- Extravagant Generosity
These are skills we can develop, practices we can hone, to help us grow and flourish as a church. May we commit ourselves to this important work, and may God bless this work, so that we may grow in our faith and bear good fruit.
Pastor Jennifer Rygg