Gardens and Pastoring

Horizon Weekly | 10 September 2020

By Gerry Taillon

I listen to gardening podcasts all the time. One of my favourites is Let’s Talk Gardening on a local Calgary radio station every Sunday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 am. Of course, I am usually in church at that time so I listen to it later in the day or whenever I can get around to it.

Last week a lady phoned in and was completely bewildered because she had heard so much conflicting advice and tried so many failed approaches that she wanted to give up and quit gardening. Meryl Coombs, the talk show host and seasoned gardener of more than 35 years, replied to the frustrated gardener with focused wisdom. “People make gardening too complicated,” he said. “Plants need food, water and sun. Give them that and most of the time they do all right.”

I know a lot about gardening. I could tell you what each plant needs to germinate, its preferred growing conditions, my favourite varieties, who has the best seed for that particular variety, when to plant, when to fertilize, when and where to prune, when to harvest and how to best store and preserve extra produce.

But Meryl is so right, “Plants need food, water and sun. Give them that and most of the time they will do all right.”

Sometimes I complicate things way too much in gardening and in pastoring a church. Gardening does not make that much difference in the lives of people but pastoring does. When we complicate leading churches, lives are at stake. It is easy to get distracted by the many responsibilities and lose our focus and neglect the fundamental mission of the church.

What is that mission? We exist to see every man, woman, boy and girl have repeated opportunities to see, hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said it this way: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

"He commanded us to do the same: as the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21).

He told us where to go: “And you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

He told us how important it is: “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14, NLT).

Don’t let it be too complicated. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

Scriptures are quoted in NASB unless otherwise noted.

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CNBC Weekly Horizon
National Ministry Leader: Gerry Taillon 
Editor: Lynda Blazina
French Translation: Baker Hill    


CNBC Mission: We are churches in covenant giving ourselves away to advance the Kingdom.

CNBC Vision: 1000 healthy, Kingdom-focused churches.




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