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August 22, 2013

Weeds & Oak Trees

Dear JourneyChurch,

Complete disclosure here - I know absolutely nothing about gardening or farming. Green thumb? I am not even really sure what that means. At this stage in life all I know is that when I want to have a tomato, I go to the store to get one. Bam! That’s farming, at least to me. The thought of working the soil, fertilizing, planting the seed, watering, and the other necessary steps of growing a tomato sound so exhausting – that process may take weeks. 

Admittedly so, I am impatient.

While I know very little about agriculture, I do know the difference between a weed and an oak tree. Oak trees are large, strong, and take years to grow to full maturity. Weeds are the opposite. They are weak, frail, and grow overnight.

Understanding the differences between these two plants has served as an illustration to what a student’s faith can be. More importantly, it has led me to an obsession – pressing students to have a faith that resembles an oak tree and not a weed. But the question is, how does this happen?

Here is one way.

A few weeks ago we took all of Student Journey to our annual Summer Camp. We spent a few days building life-long friendship, having a blast, and deepening our relationship with Christ. You would be so proud of our students. They played hard and they were serious about growing their faith in Christ as well.

My prayer is that our week at camp could be summed up almost like one of the parables Jesus told. Remember when Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.”? (Matthew 13:31) A mustard seed, as we all learned in Sunday school as a child, is small - the smallest of all seeds. But what most people don’t know about the mustard seed is that once it has been planted, it cannot be stopped. It grows, and grows, and grows, almost at an uncontrollable pace. It may be small, but it is powerful! Jesus was explaining to His audience that the Kingdom of Heaven is small, but once it takes root in a person’s heart, it will consume, grow, and come to maturity in that person’s heart.

What if this year’s camp experience, for our students, is the moment that an unstoppable seed was planted? What if? No, I am confident that it happened! God is that good. How exciting is it to know that this pivotal moment happened in the life of our students. A small seed in the hearts of our students that will consume, grow, and bring them to a new level of growth in Christ that will last a lifetime.

A flash in the pan is pretty easy. Remember, weeds grow overnight. Oak trees take years. Thankfully, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, powerful and unstoppable. So, let’s sit back and watch, what God does with our students.



Sincerely,

Pastor Josh Mings

Student Ministries Pastor

Gardening Enthusiast

Written by Josh Mings