I’m always happy to share my thoughts about the work here at Central. As I think about our vision of “Growing God’s Kingdom One Person at a time!” I’m reminded of the great parable of Jesus commonly referred to as the parable of the sower, (Matt. 13:1-9; Mk. 4:1-9; Lk. 8:4-8). In this great story, the seed of the gospel is intended to produce disciples who in turn produce other disciples in varying quantities, with the end result being growth in the Kingdom of God!
We often want to take on this task single handedly and sometimes become overwhelmed in the process, but it’s important to remember that the farmer only sows and cultivates the soil for growth to occur, he does not ultimately have the power to make the seed grow! Thank goodness that he seed, (the Gospel), has this power innately. I believe that this is what Paul had in mind when he wrote that the Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rms. 1:16). Here, I believe, is our guideline and challenge for growing God’s Kingdom one person at a time! We must always remember that the power and growth resides in God and in the message that Christ has given to the hearers. Jesus said that this is an example of what the kingdom of God is like, (Mk. 4:26). The same power to save is also the power to grow and to multiply, (Mk. 4:28).
Before leaving to return to heaven, Jesus told the disciples of his expectation that they, (WE), produce more and better fruit and works. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. ” (Jn. 14:12).
Clearly Jesus has great expectations for us as we rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to accomplish the work of growing God’s kingdom. In John 15 he says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (15:8).
My hope for the Central Church of Christ is that we take seriously the challenge that Jesus gives each of us to grow much fruit. I believe that the fruit He refers to goes beyond the friendliness and service we display. Jesus was referring to the expansion of the kingdom through the sharing of our faith with others! I hope you will accept the Lord’s challenge to be a sower of the gospel seed into the lives and hearts of those you know and come in contact with daily. In doing so, we can truly “Grow God’s Kingdom One Person at a time!”
~ John Phillips Jr ~