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Seasons Mapping Prayer Walking Oikos Evangelism LTG Bible Study Storying


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Seasons of Ministry


A.  Cultivating

          -  Illust:  How does a farmer prepare his fields?

          -  Parable of the Soils (below)

          -  it’s hard work, but it pays off

          -  acts of kindness, prayer, service, concern, sympathy, persistence

          -  tipping conversations towards spiritual

          -  listening to their pain, their passion, their purpose

          - learn to ask good questions

          - tell stories


B.  Sowing

          - abundantly.  If you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly.  If you sow abundantly, you will reap abundantly.

          - without seed you just have a field full of mud

          - how important is it that we sow seeds

          - developing creative conversation skills, and interactive practices

          - 7 miracles in book of John – Evangelistic Bible Study tract


C.  Growing

          - only God gives the growth

          - Parable of the Sleeping Farmer (below)


D.  Harvesting

          - most evangelism techniques we learn are solely geared to this season

          - problem is always a lack of laborers


E.  Gathering

          - into bundles for various uses and purposes, not into one big pile where it might spoil and rot deep inside the pile.

          - starting churches and outreach groups

          - the church begins in the fields, not in the barns


F.  Germinating

          - very delicate care needed and the right environment – not too much water, and not too much sun or warmth.  Many seeds expect to go through a time of cold/winter before they begin to sprout roots.

          - community and character take time – there are no short-cuts

          - the process of discipleship and leadership training


G.  Reproducing

          - healthy seed that germinates and is planted in good soil will reproduce an abundant crop – 30, 60 100 fold.

          - if one seed of wheat is planted and each succeeding stalk of wheat-head is allow to freely go back into the ground and produce new stalks with more seeds, then in just eight years we would have enough wheat to feed the world over


Matthew 13  “The Parable of the Soils”

1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears, let him hear.”

10The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13This is why I speak to them in parables:

     “Though seeing, they do not see;

       though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14        In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

     “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;

       you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

15    For this people’s heart has become calloused;

       they hardly hear with their ears,

       and they have closed their eyes.

     Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

       hear with their ears,

       understand with their hearts

     and turn, and I would heal them.’£

16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” NIV


Matthew 4:26-29  “The Parable of the Sleeping Farmer”

26He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” NIV


Matthew 13   “Other Parables about the Kingdom”

24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

31He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

33He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount£ of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

34Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

     “I will open my mouth in parables,

       I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”£

36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

47“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51“Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” NIV



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Last modified: March 07, 2006