Slow Growth
written by Rev Gary Heard

As I have watched building sites take shape around different parts of the city, it is evident that a number of stages is required, though not each stage is apparent to the casual observer. The initial stage appears to be quite lengthy for little progress. For a large part of this stage, progress seems to be in the negative. Preparing for the foundations to be laid requires excavation. The taller the building, the deeper the excavation required. This stage is essential, and is the result of even more work done by surveyors, geologists and engineers before a machine is placed on the site.

At times this stage seems somewhat absurd. No sooner has the excavation been completed than concreters move in and put back what was there before. Well, not exactly, but they fill the hole with a different substance, providing the necessary base and strength upon which the building will stand. These two stages are the most important of all. If they are not carefully undertaken, whatever grows on top will founder and fall, with catastrophic outcomes.

When Jesus paralleled the christian life with the process of building, he provided some insight we ought to well heed. The desire for quick progress can ultimately diminish the value and strength of that which emerges. A solid foundation is important, and needs to be carefully laid.

We might well ask what constitutes a solid foundation for a christian life in community. Strong community life built on a common understanding and purpose, a clear mission, and a shared responsibility are three foundations which grow out of a commitment to understanding Godís call through prayer and study of the scriptures, and through a love for the community we are called to serve. It is encouraging that these are evident in increasing ways amongst us.

As we continue to work together to build the kingdom in this place, we are reminded by Paul that, for all our efforts, it is God who causes the growth (1 Cor 3). And so we are required to seek growth at the same point we began: in prayer, seeking Godís hand to be at work through us.
Each day I pray that God will keep us strong and continue guide us clearly in the paths which lead to the building of His kingdom.

September 26, 2004
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