I came across this banner on a simplechurch website. I think it is a good reminder of the simplicity of our mission. I think this little equation works on an individual and corporate level, with the both being interlinked, of course.
Let me just expand on how I understand the terms.
Good Soil: now, I believe we have a duty to share the message with all. We all know, however, is that there are different levels of receiptiveness. This is shaped by many things that I won’t even try to list. Its not saying that bad soil can’t become good either, but the actual beginnings of life happening is when good soil is found.
Good Seed: I’ve been ‘hauled over the coals’ many a time for stating that sometimes the content of our gospel message within the ranks is less than what you could call ‘good seed’. We are still guilty at either stopping short with the gospel or turning it into something its not. I believe that whilst the scripture is innerrant, it IS possible to turn great seed into poor seed by mis-using it or re-shaping it. So, (a) be careful about the gospel we preach and (b) be aware that it requires both good soil AND good seed to produce great growth.
Growth: I just want to point out that whilst the seed carries the DNA for what comes, almong with all the other elements that contribute to growth of an organism, every tree looks different. We can become more pre-occupied with our church brand than we are with the process and fruit of the planting process. Expect growth in good soil with good seed, but don’t try to stifle it because its not looking how you expect. In Army terms, its still possible to contain very real ‘Army’ DNA without us looking like every other corps, and still be a very valid missional expression of The Salvation Army.
Plan for growth with prayer, care and responsible sowing.