Recently we've heard a lot about seeds from Jesus. First it was the parable about the prodigal sower who tossed seeds in all directions, some landing in places that would likely yield good results and others in places where it would be difficult to sustain growth. Yesterday we heard about mustard seeds that grow from tiny seeds to strong and big bushes.
Ministry Intern JT Brown gave witness to ways Central is nurturing seeds. JT is himself a living witness to that.
Think of his life among us. He was born into a family deeply committed to Central. He grew up in the nurseries, Sunday School classes, worship services, Bible Schools, choirs, the youth program, basketball teams, and Salkehatchie and Santahatchie mission experiences. He didn't have perfect attendance in any of that, but he took advantage of these opportunities and more.
My guess is his parents had to push occasionally. I also know he took on leadership willingly. No one charted this path for him with the goal of creating a young man who would go to seminary. The goal for JT is the goal for each of us: nurture the seed that God has provided into a faithful disciple.
For JT that looks like someone who already preaches and ministers extraordinarily well and who is headed to theology school with the idea that he'll soon be a pastor. For one of his friends a similar childhood at Central has led to an interest in medical school, to another environmental studies, and to plenty we don't know yet.
For each of them the intention has been to provide ministry that deepens their relationship with Jesus and their understanding and practice of the Christian faith - you know, you have sought to nurture these seeds.
Thank you for doing that for people of all ages in our faith community. Thank you for letting others nurture you. It's a primary purpose of the church and a living out of Jesus' wise teachings. It's yet another reason the faith is meant to be practiced in community.