I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow.
(1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
It is wonderful and miraculous when growth happens. The Lord is doing something very special at the moment and there is so much to praise Him for.
I for one am not complaining, as I have been praying for growth for so long, and I am starting to see some real answers to these prayers. However to grow is to change. Looking at my garden, what began life as seeds in the greenhouse have become plants. They have had to be uprooted from their pots, put into the ground, watered, and (hopefully) protected from the slugs and pigeons.
Last Thursday we enjoyed close fellowship at the vicarage and we worked out that if everyone came we would be trying to squeeze seventeen people into our lounge. It’s not only the limits of the room that are a problem. A group that size becomes something other than a small group and it’s hard for everyone to contribute effectively. And if there is no room for newcomers, then that really is a sign that it is time to divide and replant.
In some ways dividing is going to be difficult. We have learnt and shared so much together that we will miss those who go to the other group. We will have to sort out the leadership and the material we want to look out. We will need to decide if from time to time we will want to come together as one larger group (perhaps in church) and if so how that will fit into our programme of events.
But then the church has always grown by planting new shoots. A plant that stays in the same pot will become rootbound and eventually die. Yet if our plans are of the Lord, then we can trust that He will honour and bless our decision. I for one can already see the potential that could be generated by having, say, two or three groups rather than one.
So over the next few months we will be preparing the ground for a new group to start in September. We will be looking for newcomers to join – could it be you? If you have never been part of a small group before, and maybe wonder why they are just so important, then this be a marvellous opportunity to join in. Let us know when you can meet, and even what you would like to learn more about, and we’ll see what we can do. And let’s go on praying that the Lord will continue to make His church grow here in this place, for His name’s sake, and that we will be ready for the growth He gives.