1 Corinthians 3:5-9 “5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” NIV
I have a post-it-note on the bulletin board that hangs above my desk. On it I have written a quote that I saw once. I don’t know who said it or even remember where I saw it but it says, “No matter how many show up – water them.”
One frustration that I deal with is getting ready for Bible class (Sunday and Wednesday) and wanting to do something different to get their attention but not knowing what to do or even plan because I just don’t know how many will show up each week.
I’ve had multiple conversations about this with more than one person. Truth be known, several years ago, I was very discouraged about our Wednesday night high school class attendance. It had gotten to the point that if we had two teenagers in class we were doing good. Please don’t stop reading here. This isn’t an article about the importance of Bible class and church attendance. What was happening was that I found myself struggling to prepare for class on Wednesday nights because I didn’t know if anyone would even be there. Satan was whispering in my ear “Why bother? Why put in the effort if they won’t be there?” At that point and time I was beginning to listen to that. For a period of time I “phoned in” Wednesday nights. There’s a little confession for you. I wasn’t proud of it, and was really frustrated with myself. But then I came upon that quote. That quote caused me to stop in my tracks and think very honestly about what I was doing. It was not a pleasant experience. I determined that my attitude had to and was going to change. And so, I wrote down that quote and put it where I see it frequently.
Bible classes are not about me or any teacher! They are about us studying God’s Word together (even if it’s just a few of us) and it’s about seeds being planted in the hearts and minds of those who are there, watering those seeds week in and week out and knowing that God tend those seeds and growth will occur as a result of the entire process.
For those of you who teach, don’t be discouraged. You may never know the impact you have on someone’s life with a simple word or observation. Be encouraged by the fact that you’re a small part of a much bigger plan. Keep on planting the seeds and watering them.