Saturday, August 13, 2016

Flower or Tree?

It has been my experience that there are two kinds of ministry workers.

The first kind is the project worker.  Project workers go to a location and do a specific project.  The results typically come quickly and dramatically.  Often times the worker will finish the project and move on to another project.  The results are like flowers.  They are pleasant, beautiful, produced quickly, and yet also quickly seem to fade.  The advantage for the project ministry workers is that they are constantly seeing something happen.  The disadvantage is that the results tend to fade over time.

The second worker is the roots worker (called so because he puts down roots).  He stays somewhere for a long time, and he makes a lasting impact.  The results are like a tree.  At first a tree is indistinguishable from a weed.  Then as time goes on it changes to a scraggly pathetic looking thing that just seems to be taking up space.  Eventually it turns into a young tree that is recognized as a tree but is still useless.  Then after years and years it becomes something mighty that can only be removed by great force.

Years ago I came to the realization that Sasha and I are roots workers.  We are here in Bulgaria for the long-term.  It’s true that we do have project-like ministries from time to time.  Our work with refugees a couple years back is a good example of a project ministry, but like the flower it was, it has now faded as the need has faded.

Our bigger work of impacting lives here will take longer, and as such it has looked much like a scraggly weed for years.  Today, I realized just how far it has come.

Every year our leadership has us fill out forms for our city team asking about what we have done over the past year.  Normally this is not a very exciting project for me, and I tend to get a bit discouraged while thinking that there is so much more that needs to be done.

This year was a little different.  As I compared numbers from earlier years to this year, I noticed that things have changed.  Our numbers have gone up noticeably.  Now I’m not about the numbers.  I do what I do in obedience to Christ, and I trust the Holy Spirit for the results.  Yet I was pleasantly surprised to see that our little ministry in Sofia has grown from a weed look alike into a full-fledged sapling.  We have a long way to go before we become a mighty tree.  We may not even live to see that happen.  Yet it is encouraging to see that we are making an impact in Sofia

Come join us.  Plant a seed.  See what you end up growing on the ReachGlobal Sofia Team.

A long time ago this tree was planted in our neighborhood in Sofia.  Now it's the tallest thing around.