- What question do you wish people would ask you?
- What does your tradition say about Jesus?
- Do you consider yourself on a spiritual journey right now?
- Is there anything, I can pray for you about right now?
- I just learned the coolest thing in the Bible. Can I share it with you?
From the book Sent by Ashley and Heather Hollerman
Message by Kim Hirt from 1 Corinthians 3.5-8, 21-23
Pastor JP’s theme has been “the Harvest” this month. How are we as God’s people part of creating “the Harvest”. What comes first? What role does God want us to have? Did you know that our roles could be many and all different? In the Bible text read today. Paul is talking to the Corinthian’s. He is letting them know that “We , God’s people – do the 1sttwo steps- Planting and watering. Planting, can also mean sharing, loving, caring, supporting. The 2nd step Watering, can also mean patience, revisiting, believing, connecting, repeating, facilitating, mentoring.
As I was preparing for what to share with you today. I asked God to guide me in my thoughts and in my heart. My first thought was to reflect on Pastor JP”s conversations starters. Especially with Covid. How do we continue to connect with others. Our family, our friends, our acquaintances and even strangers. Each week I looked forward to hearing what the new conversation starters were going to be and how could I use them during my week. As I continued exploring that, I heard a pod cast on WRGN ( a local Christian radio station here in Dallas) the podcast was discussing a book called “Sent”,living a life that invites others to Jesus” by Ashley and Dr. Heather Hollerman. I took a few notes while listening uhm…My sermon was starting to come together, Then my last confirmation of what to share today, came as my neighbor came to my door to ask more questions about faith and our church. The Lord worked very quickly in guiding me . Matthew 7:7says “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock it shall be opened unto you. God led and God fed me in a few days.
Just like Paul and Appolo from todays bible verse. How can we be the planters and the waters for others. That’s all we have to do. Plant and water. God will do the miracles of growing people, growing you, and growing our church.
When we become more intentional of connecting with others. We become Jesus hand and feet. Jesus sends us out into the world to connect with others. To be the conversation starters. John 20:21 says.”As the father has sent me, I also send you”
Every single one of us has been called to help others find Jesus!
Think of our Methodist Mission statement, “To go out and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”
We live in a turbulent world: the pandemic, unemployment, political concerns, racial concerns etc .but our hope comes from the Lord. We , as a church our very fortunate that we know our hope comes from the Lord. Not everyone knows that. Romans 15:13 “Our hope comes from God. May He fill you with joy and peace because you trust in Him. May your hope grow strong by the power of the Holy Spirit.Let us embrace that and be the change for our community, our world, one person at a time
As I was listening to the Podcast about the book Sent, living a life that invites others to Jesus. The podcast supported what JP has been talking about with his conversation starters. Have you started yet? Just as Paul and Appolls were sent. We are also sent. God will use everyone one of us to teach others about Jesus Christ.
You may be thinking no one is going to listen to me or how can I share my faith. Im not the pastor or a leader in the church. You don’t have to be. God doesn’t say only the Pastors have the magic touch or only the Leaders have the ability to share. Even as Paul was writing to the Corinthians he wanted them to understand , they too can plant and water. In fact, Paul didn’t want them to think He had the best message or Appollos had the best message. They were both messengers of God. God is looking for more messengers. Many times we have to listen to different teachers and discover the one that speaks to our heart. The bottom line is we all can plant and water. God will do the Miraculous. He will make the plants, people and churches grow. Are you willing to be Sent? Are you willing to trust God that He will do the growing, as long as we will do the planting and watering
Look at Mark 4: 26-29 the parable of the growing seed. Jesus said” this is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground . Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up the seed sprouts and grows. , though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain, first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it , because the harvest has come”. May we be faithful in planting and water, and leaving the growth of a person in the hands of the Lord
So how do we plant and water. ?
How do we share with others
What are our conversation starters.
From the podcast I was listening to , the authors of the book Sent, reminded me that God invites us all into the lives of other people. Trust with the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you on this grand adventure of sharing your faith with others ,
Think of the possibilities of what your planting and watering may do. Possibly introducing them to Jesus Christ for the 1 st time. Now that is exciting.!!!
Remember, God is always at work to draw people to Himself. And he use ordinary people to do the planting and watering. That means you you and me
God will do the sending to.
Who is God going to send to you today. It might be a neighbor, someone at the gas station , when your waiting for your oil change or maybe when the repair man comes to your house. We can all minister to others by offering support, a listening ear, , caring attitude, positive statements. In my business, a common saying we use by Theodore Roosevelt is “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much your care. “
Right before the pandemic , there was a party at my house, one of my neighbors told me she felt so comfortable around all the “church people that were there. You may not remember talking to her. But she remembers how you made her feel now she watches our church online. Our attitude, our words, our hearts can have a profound effect on others. And most times we don’t even know it.
How is God using you ?
Pastor JP gives us several conversation starters each week.
Lets explore a few questions you can ask others to guide you in fulfilling your planting and watering mission
I recently learned these from the Podcast
Ask someone What question do you wish people would ask you? This helps you know what they like to talk about. It is a gateway to know who they are.
If they are from a different religion than you. You can ask;
What does your tradition say about Jesus?
If they are going through a trial, or having a bad day. You can ask
Do you consider yourself on a spiritual journey right now
Let someone know that you are a Christian .And ask
Is there anything, I can pray for you about right now.
Or you could say. I just learned the coolest thing in the Bible, Can I share it with you?
Its really more about being more interested in others than in ourselves. Be curious about others with love, warmth and kindness.
Each morning you wake up say Lord, who am I going to meet today. Holy Spirit help me be a messenger just like Paul and Apollos. I can plant a seed or water a seed. Be excited about being a messenger. You might be the person another person was praying for.