05 Dec Planting the 5-Fold Seeds…
2 Minute Read
By George Krebs, Director of Christian Education
I remember when my parents moved out to the country. The following spring as I began third grade, my parents cultivated a large plot on their one-acre property into a garden; I remember thinking, “This is going to be one huge garden!” They planted everything…corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, potatoes and more. There were evenings spent weeding, watering and cultivating.
Throughout the summer the deer, ground hogs, squirrels and pheasants would eat the plants and most of the produce. When fall came, there was no harvest to be shown for all that effort. The following year my parents did not plant a single seed in that garden, and the huge plot of land became a wasteland of weeds.
As church leaders we need to learn a lesson: we only get what we plant, water and cultivate. Many times we’re not planting the seed, but we’re expecting a harvest. This happens with adults, but it is especially true in the lives of children.
We tend to think of the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12) as offices and gifts for adults. All too often, children are not taught about these gifts. Children are just in the beginning stages of trying to figure out who they are and how God wants to use them. We need to spend more time introducing children to the five-fold gifts.
Many children have the heart of a pastor, but not the calling into full time pastorate work. Even as a child they care for others, and their shepherding gift begins to bloom. Children need to know there is a place of service in the body for those who have pastoral gifts.
We don’t see many children holding the office of the evangelist, but many kids are very willing to share their faith and even develop strategies to win other children to Jesus. They have the gift of evangelism. I remember a sixth grade girl who asked me to help her win her classmate to Jesus. She wanted help to convince her Jewish friend to believe in Jesus. She had the gift of evangelism.
I’ve had children who wanted to help teach a Sunday school class or lesson in kids’ church. I’m amazed how children can take a concept and break it down so other children can understand. They have the gift of teaching. As church leaders, we need to plant these seeds and cultivate the growth in children’s lives. How effective their ministry gifts will be when they become adults!
I learned as a child you only reap a great harvest if you plant the right seeds and then cultivate and protect the crops until maturity. Don’t be afraid to help children find the gifts within themselves. Imagine what they will become at harvest time.