God gives growth to the Church. Imagine a three-acre plot of land on which you want to start an agricultural business. But the field is entirely unprepared. The soil is marshy, and the uneven ground is overgrown with bushes. A lot of effort is needed before the first plants can finally be planted. You cannot do it alone. It takes a whole team of workers.
This is how the mission of preaching the gospel, as described by the Apostle Paul, should be imagined.
Devotional for Today, January 24
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. (full text at 1 Corinthians 3:5-8)
Let us Proclaim the Gospel Together
The work of proclaiming the gospel is a team effort. This principle must be known by everyone who has a burning desire to serve the people by bringing them the Good News.
Devotional for everyday here: Daily Devotional
The Bible passage given to us by the daily devotional speaks against the cult of personality. It speaks against forms of community in the Church that become fan clubs for some leaders.
It is not the charismatic priest or pastor, the energetic preacher, or the admirable leader who must be at the center of the Christian community. God is the center of the community. And people should not come for the charismatic leader but for Jesus. This is what the Apostle Paul warns about.
A community of believers grows and develops because each member contributes cooperatively.
God Gives Growth to the Church
But as a church, a community grows only if God grows it. The Church grows when God gives the growth. Otherwise, it is not a Church but a gang of like-minded people or a pastor’s fan club.
Paul and Apollos are God’s workers. One works as an evangelist. The other works as a teacher. But both are only servants. They complement each other, work together, and bring their different abilities to the service of the Church. Nevertheless, they serve one purpose: the Gospel’s proclamation and the Church’s growth.
Prayer for Today
Lord Jesus, our Saviour, help us, the children of your Church. Strengthen us, for the world hates and attacks. Renew every member of the Church with your love so that they may praise and thank you.
Help our listening and speaking, thinking and acting, taking and giving, to serve you, our Lord. Amen.