Sowing & Reaping in Church Ministry

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;
whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:7-9 (NIV)

These words are sharply worded at the beginning, but greatly encouraging at the end. God warns us not to overlook this principle. We ignore this at our own peril. We will reap what we sow. If we sow to please ourselves, we reap destruction. If we sow to please God’s Spirit, we reap life.

How do we apply this to a church family? Every action we do (and even inaction) can be viewed as a seed. When we choose to follow God’s Spirit, we are sowing seeds of life and over time we will see the fruit of that choice. Often, following God’s Spirit requires self-sacrifice. We do things we are not fully comfortable with. We push ourselves beyond our preferences, beyond what pleases us. For if we fail to do that, we fail to reap good fruit.

The lazy farmer who sleeps in, neglects to plant all his acreage, and puts off maintenance on machinery ends up with an unproductive farm and sometimes expensive trouble. The farmer who perseveres in self-sacrifice, who pushes to “git ’er done”, who wisely plans in the off season, and cares for machinery before there’s trouble is sometimes looked at as “lucky” because things go well on his farm. But the truth is that this farmer sows wisely with more than just seed; he sows wisely with his time and energy.

So, too, in our church. Over the last five years or so, people have set aside their agendas and done ministry that was needed, even if it wasn’t their cup of tea. As a result, ministries like AWANA survived and now thrive. New families are being reached and new workers now replace those who filled the gap, though children’s ministry was not their thing. Also, VBS workers sacrificed part or all of their week summer after summer. Other people sacrificed with their finances and time to build the Community Christian Center and get it going. As a result, people in the community who had no church home (and their children) have had a chance to hear about God’s love and begin to take the steps needed to move their families closer to God. Some have even found their way into our church. We have been blessed by some wonderful families this year that have discovered the good things at St. Luke that many have known for generations!

All of this is a result of sowing to please God’s Spirit rather than our own flesh. The last verse is my life verse, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Ever feel that urge to give up? Ever feel weary at doing the right thing and making the sacrifice when it seems that others don’t care? Let’s not become weary or give up for God guarantees a harvest of great, eternal blessings as a result of our sowing seeds of life in everything we do here at St. Luke Evangelical Free Church.

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