Cultivation is the Work of Leaders

I’ve been fleshing out some of the reading from The Balancing Act by Bishop Robert Schnase. Previous posts include: “The Balancing Act”, Pray More Than Criticize, 5 Practices to Make the Most of Time, and Change Takes Faith.

In one chapter, Bishop Schnase talks about a field he once saw that was no longer being actively cultivated and cared for. He wondered what he would do if the field were given to him for the purpose of generating a harvest. Bishop Schnase concluded a number of things. First, it would “involve a long, slow process” (91). Bishop Schnase writes:

Cultivation takes time and the passing of seasons, and requires patience without cynicism or resignation. (91)

With that in mind, Bishop Schnase believes he “would have much learning to do” (92). He’d also “have to get to work, doing something each day to move toward the harvest” (92). Bishop Schnase imagines he’d “have to attend to timing” (92)—different things need to happen at different times. Finally, Bishop Schnase realizes he’d “have to live with mixed and inconsistent results” (92).

Further, Bishop Schnase writes:

Scripture is replete with images of seeds and sowers, farmers and soils, seedtime and harvest, vines and branches. The biblical writers remind us of the patience and hard work required, and of the risks of birds and rocks and weeds. They also steady our fears with the promise and hope of harvests, some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold, and some a hundred-fold. (92-93).

Regarding the mission field, Bishop Schnase writes:

Each of our churches has been entrusted a mission field, the community of people that surround us, the large numbers of people who do not know Christ. The mission field also includes countless people who suffer from loneliness, poverty, racism, or violence. This field provides the mission and purpose for our work, and we serve in obedience to Christ and out of love for neighbor and for God. (93)

May we be faithful to the work of cultivating the fields in which we’re placed. And may we also be intentional about cultivating our own hearts so that we will grow more and more like Christ in every way!

The good news is:

God has placed us in these fields for a purpose, and gives us the promise of rich harvests. (94)

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