This past week, I got a late evening call from a friend and fellow pastor in our area. He was in Florida with his family at his son’s baseball tournament. My friend shared with me how he had the opportunity to talk with a kid from our area who was on another team in the tournament. This kid and his high school aged sister were both led to faith in Christ by my friend! Then they along with some others were baptized in the hotel pool. Their dad, who was already a believer, had the privilege of baptizing his own kids! WOW! As a result their mom also was asking some deeper questions about her own faith.
The cool thing is, this is a family that had been attending CATR off and on. They have been absent much of the summer, as with a lot of families, mainly because of baseball. Their kids have been involved in a lot of stuff here. The teenage daughter had been in our youth group on Sunday evenings and had participated in our youth DiscipleNow Weekend earlier in the winter. What I was excited to hear from my friend was that the whole family said when they returned they would be joining CATR. And you know what? My friend who pastors an exciting, growing church in our area encouraged them to do so! I wasn’t surprised by this from him, because he gets it. We’re all on the same team.
In 1 Corinthians 3:6, Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing growth.” I know many pastors who would have said, “Hey this is a chance for me to get them into my church.” or they would have felt some sort of “right” to these new believers since they were the one who led them to Christ. I also know some who would have been mad that someone else came along and “reaped their harvest.” I could have been upset that I didn’t get to lead them to faith. Or my friend could have tried to proselyte these for his own congregation. But is doesn’t matter, because neither of us did anything! “...God was causing growth.” We were just faithful to what we are all supposed to do: plant and water. It is all about Him and when things like this happen, HE WINS…WE ALL WIN!!
Why is it that some pastors and churches feel as if they are in some sort of competition with others? They get mad when another church comes into the area and talk bad about a church and a pastor that they don’t even know. I even know of someone who is involved in a church plant who was told by the pastor of the church he previously served, that he could go plant a church as long as he did it in another county. What’s up with that?!
Sometimes we church planters can have a prideful attitude too, that we are going to come in and “show all these old guys how to do it right.” We think that we are going to come into a community and somehow God is going to bless that attitude. Now, I agree that we have to constantly be thinking of new things and new ways to reach people without compromising the gospel. (I mean we have made several changes to what we are doing now compared to how we started. Sometimes those changes are weekly.) But we must always remember one thing…WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM. I want to help others to win, because when they do, the Kingdom wins!
How cool is it that hearts were planted and watered in a variety of ways here, but God put some people together in a motel in Florida and a harvest happened. That’s definitely a God thing! Go God! Chalk one up for the team!