Life Giving Waters Are in Your Possession!
The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. – Proverbs 11:25
Having been raised on a cotton, corn, wheat and soybean farm in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina where row crop farming is king, I have a very personal understanding of the power of water. In a word, to “water" was to provide life and sustain our farm for another year. Most often that water came in the form of rain that we prayed for daily. But in recent years, the rains have been supplemented through irrigation systems. Either way, there is a direct correlation between planting, watering and harvesting. Anyone familiar with farming or growing plants in any way knows this.
Longtime Clemson University Agricultural Extension Agent Bob Bailey, on his early morning agricultural TV Program, used to close each show by saying, “He who puts the seed beneath the sod, and waits for it to raise a clod, he trusts in God!” For my great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and now for my brother and niece, a major part of seeing that seed grow into a plant is “water.” In fact, in the Southeast, when you travel the back roads through agricultural land you will notice that irrigation equipment has been added to nearly every field. Why? With changing weather conditions that seem to bring longer periods of drought to our area, today’s progressive farmer knows that if the crops are not watered at the proper time, with a meaningful amount of water, the harvest will be lacking. Though God’s water, in the form of rain, is the most welcomed and all-encompassing method to provide this vital substance, agricultural researchers continuously discover new effective and efficient methods to deliver life-giving waters to thirsty crops of all kinds. This is vital to ensure a bountiful harvest for today’s farmers. The cycle is this. The farmer waters their crops. In return, the crops provide abundant products to take to market to sell. This enterprise of agriculture supplies a living to the farmer and their family and generates the capital to engage in planting when the spring returns. And this process is a matter of faith for the farmer, as they “trust in God.”
As members of the body of Christ who have a heart for planting churches, we should understand the power of our giving in a similar fashion. Our treasures of time, talent, prayer and finances are the waters of church planting. If we are to take part in a bountiful harvest, we too must understand that when, where and how much we water, does make a difference in the life of church planting. Through the NACPF, believers have an irrigation system to disperse their waters of support to our many member churches and church plants across North America. The board and founders of the NACPF believe that watering those on the front lines of church planting is vital to ensure the health and harvest of these efforts. Too often in the past, individuals and teams have been sent forth to plant a church without the proper care and feeding to see fruition in the fields of harvest. When a church plant falters, and even the strongest of efforts falter as God has other plans, it is too often due to a lack of “watering.” For certain, God raises up and casts down, and we are fully aware that within the will of His sovereignty, we labor to expand His kingdom through church planting. However, we each know that for a church plant to grow, it must be watered.
It is through this watering process that we can be instrumental in the care and feeding of church planting, and in return, we ourselves are watered. Through financial gifts of support, through making encouraging contact with church planters you know personally, through volunteering our time and talents, through lifting up the leaders and church plants of the NACPF in prayer – You are watering. You are helping those seeds planted beneath the hard clods of this world to break through and produce a harvest for the kingdom of God. And just like the farmer, you are the one who benefits the greatest from the harvest. Your soul will be watered as you witness the growth and health of the churches in the NACPF. As you see church planters thrive and spread the Gospel to those in need of refreshment. As you water, you yourself will be watered. And of course, just as Bob Bailey stated, as we water, like the farmer, “We trust in God.”
Whether you are part of a team planting a church engaged in the effort of securing waters for the benefit of harvest in your church body or you are a supporter with interest in the work of NACPF that is providing life giving waters through sharing your various treasures, I encourage you to understand what part you can play in the irrigation system that waters the churches that are the North American Church Planters Foundation.