“And Jonah stalked to his shaded seat and waited for God
to come around to his way of thinking.
And God is still waiting for a host of Jonahs in their comfortable houses
to come around to his way of loving.”
– Thomas Carlisle in his poem “You Jonah”
Would it surprise you if I said my aim isn’t just to plant a church? Would it surprise you to find out that my hope is to see all the Medina churches (as well as ours) experience revival? Would it surprise you if what we sought to plant was the Kingdom of God?
What if what we sought to plant was best described as a movement? Not just a church planting movement. Not just an Anglican movement. But a movement that at its core is about announcing the Kingdom of God? One of my favorite parables of the Kingdom of God is when Jesus in Mark 4:26 says,
“The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
In this parable there is an organic movement from the seed to the stalk to the head and finally to the full grain. The work of the farmer is to sow the seed, to watch ‘the earth produce of itself’, and to come and harvest when the grain is ripe.
In our context this would look like planting a seed in a garden and watching it grow and bear fruit. This is the movement of Plant Medina: A primitive vision (seed) of the Kingdom of God growing to maturity in the context of a Christian worshipping communities (garden) in Medina, OH that bears the fruit of the Holy Spirit (fruit).
So what is the seed? What is the garden? What is the fruit?
- The Seed – The seed is our identity. The seed is our vision. The seed is both who we are and who we hope to become. The seed is the promise of the Gospel: of redemption for our sins and sorrows, of growing into wholeness and healing, and of the promise of salvation from death.
- The Garden – The garden is the worshipping community. The garden is about where and how we gather together. The garden is growing as a community into the fullness of who Christ says we are. The garden is a safe place to work through brokenness and receive healing.
- The Fruit – The fruit is our values. The fruit is what others know us by. The fruit is for the sake of others. The fruit is what makes us distinctive among other belief systems.
So who was that “someone” in the parable that was sowing seed? Doesn’t it seem a bit unspecific and open-ended… “someone”? Why couldn’t that someone be me? Why couldn’t that someone be you? Why couldn’t that someone who was scattering the seed of the Gospel on the ground be our church? This brings us to the next post, “Everybody Has a Mission.”