The Church has been entrusted with the gospel—the good news of Jesus Christ. We have a story to tell …
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. (John 3.16, CEB)
But, if we’re not intentional, we can easily take this gift for granted, or worse, avoid our God-given mission, altogether!
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel: it is God’s own power for salvation to all who have faith in God …” (Romans 1.16).
That needs to be our attitude, too. We must not be ashamed of the gospel. It is the only message that has the power to change the world!
That’s the ultimate goal of a movement—to change the world. In the United Methodist Church, we say our mission is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!”
Stated another way, God sends us to scatter seed that will change the world!
Jesus began the parable of the soils (or the parable of the sower) this way: “A farmer went out to scatter his seed” (Luke 8.5).
A farmer …
The work of the church, and the work of leaders, in particular, is to cultivate. Movements, like harvests, don’t happen overnight; they must be cultivated!
A farmer went out …
By definition, the Church is called out, but it is also sent out. Just as the farmer “went out,” so too must the Church go out into the world. One of Jesus’ favorite words appears to have been “go.” It’s the key challenge in his final words to his disciples before ascending into heaven. In John’s Gospel, the first thing Jesus said to his group of disciples after the resurrection was, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” We are a sent Church!
A farmer went out to scatter seed.
That’s what we do. We scatter seed. We serve. We proclaim. We give witness to Jesus Christ!
The harvest depends on the type of soil on which the seed lands as well as the amount of seed that’s scattered. In fact, one of the lessons of the story is to scatter seed generously. Jesus concludes his teaching on the parable, saying …
The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit. (Luke 8.15)
Paul conveyed a similar idea when he wrote about an offering the Corinthian church was preparing …
I want it to be a real gift from you. I don’t want you to feel like you are being forced to give anything. What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop. (2 Corinthians 9.5b-6).
We scatter seed simply by being fully devoted, and growing, followers of Jesus. As such, we’re salt and light in the world.
Another great way to scatter seed is by serving in a specific (outward-focused) ministry in a local church. In fact, serving alongside other followers of Jesus is one of the easiest ways to reach out to people and “scatter seed”!
When scattering seed, it’s helpful to remember Paul’s word of encouragement …
A person will harvest what they plant. … Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6.7-9)
Let’s scatter seed. Lots and lots of seed!
God sends us to scatter seed that will change the world!