Read 1 Corinthians 3:6-9
Wayne County, it’s where we live, do life, raise our families. But how do we care for our county’s spiritual well-being? The answer is deeply embedded into our county’s culture itself. We farm. Not farming in the literal sense, but farming in the spiritual one
Like ourselves, the Church was born into an agricultural society. Most of the people lived in the country and farmed. If you were not a fisherman, or a carpenter, you likely would have farmed. The idea of plowing, planting, and harvesting was easily understood. Therefore, when the apostle Paul was trying to help the Corinthian Church understand the nature of evangelism he used the analogy of the harvest.
More than one element is involved in the harvest.
In Paul’s analogy the gospel is the seed. Paul and Apollos were harvest workers along with God. The Corinthians were the field of soil. The harvest is the result of the gospel producing new life in the heart of the lost person.
The process of planting the seed first requires preparing the soil. Pastor Nick often uses this phrase, “nothing spiritually significant happens apart from prayer.” To increase our effectiveness in evangelism, we must prepare the soil of hearts of lost people with our prayers. Another effective plowing method involves serving. At Grace we refer to this as our #forwaynecounty movement. Hard hearts crumble under servant minded evangelism that shows people far from God that we care for them, and so does Jesus.
Once the soil is prepared, the seed needs to be sown. In the spiritual analogy of farming, the idea of planting simply means sharing the gospel. It is verbally telling a lost person about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (To access a simple script our church uses to share the gospel click here.)
“Watering” the seed can easily be translated from plants to people, using words like nurturing or investing. This process of evangelism requires building relationships with the lost. At Grace we simply refer to these individuals as “our five.” We choose 5 people we want to reach. These are family members, co-workers, and neighbors we do life with on a regular basis. By building a relationship, trust is formed. This creates the most effective way of leading others to Christ.
Considering all of the above, we understand that the harvest is not an event, but a process worthy of our efforts. As we plant and water the seeds, God produces the fruit of our labor, and, come harvest day, eternal destinations are changed!