I love to read. My usual rotation includes a book on leadership followed by a book on theology. Over the past few weeks I have been slowly digesting a book called, “Is God a Moral Monster.” It takes a look at the Old Testament and systematically breaks down some of the horrendous misperceptions of God found in those ancient texts. Honestly, it is becoming one of my favorite books.
I have been considering adding to this blog by writing reviews over the books I am reading and seeking to get some insight. Rather than doing a point by point, good verse bad type of review, I want to take some post to share the things that intrigued me about the book and seek some discussion about the topics. So here goes….
Just this week I was encouraged to read a book on church planing entitled, “Church in the Making,” By Ben Arment. It was so good. I devoured it in a day and a half. I tried so hard to read slow but I just could not put it down. Ben mentions in the book something I had never considered in church planting. He states that many church planters are trying to be, “planters,” in soil that is not ready and that many church planters should instead consider the work of, “cultivation,” or the preparation of the soil.
Cultivation isn’t easy. It’s the hard grunt labor of planting. Its easy to teach & preach. Its hard to dig in the dirt hoping that one day fruit may come from it. Cultivation means that I have to lay aside my timeline for church planting and take a slow and steady pace. While reading the book, I wondered how I would convince people to support a work that may not have fruit for years.
Could you imagine the sales pitch: “Please support my product….its in the development stage and wont be ready for the market until the people are ready to receive it…they may never be ready to receive it…the product may never be made…how much are you willing to invest today in something that?!?!” While that is a brash extreme its how I would feel gathering support.
Then I had an epiphany!
Here’s the other side of this concept: Real Fruit…..not Artificial Fruit. Too often pastors and planters seems to grab at the artificial fruit. It seems many can’t or wont wait for the true birth of a new believer in Christ. Here’s what I mean:
The sweetest fruit is the fruit you plant yourself.
The most faithful church attenders will be the ones who have been changed by the ministry of Christ through you.
Ben also states in the book that not every area needs cultivation. Some places are ripe for a harvest. But I wonder if we should always have the mindset of a cultivator. How different would our lives be if we aggressively dug deep into all kinds of soil, prayerfully asking for rain to fall for the seeds?
So that’s just one of the many things I took from the book. I plan on posting a few more times concerning other areas I found intriguing.
I hope this gave you something to ponder…
Also……some family members and friends have asked me to post sermons. Right now I don’t get to preach much but when I do I will place them in a section labeled, “Sermons,” on the blog. Just in case someone wanted to check them out…..