Caring For Plants

Caring For Plants

My friend, Jimmy, used to give me about thirty strong, healthy tomato plants each year about this time. It took a couple of decades for me to tell my late, generous friend that the day he handed me the box of plants was the healthiest day of the year for these future fruits/vegetables. Because, you see, I do not coddle or pamper nor do I “baby” anything I plant. Once those sprouts were in the ground, they were on their own – it was survival of the fittest.

Around July, the box of thirty usually became victims in a plot of land with four tannish green sticks with wilted leaves and little red orbs dotting the produce vines like ornaments on a Christmas tree. If I wanted tomatoes, I needed to care for and nurture the plants and seek help when needed. The reward would be a nice red garnish for my hamburger, a base for chili or spaghetti sauce or, for some, a delicacy placed between two pieces of “loaf bread” and slathered with old Duke’s not so secret southern condiment – mayonnaise. This, however, is not what I got!

Our former Youth Minister Ron Allen, wife Joanna, and kids, Trace and Gabe have gone into the planting business (well, really the planting ministry). They, with another family have followed the call of God to plant a church. I must confess I probably would have a lot to learn should God call me to plant churches but I do know a couple of things. You first need to sense a need and discern God’s call to such an endeavor. The Allen family has heard God speaking to them for quite some time and they are taking the needed step of faith required when one takes seriously God’s urging in the heart and mind. Next, a planter needs to find a spot to plant. My yard and the small section of land where I planted my tomatoes was red dirt and dried clay. The Allens and their co-planters, the Edwards family, have discovered, with God’s help, the location of their young church plant. It is what is called a pocket of lostness by the North American Mission Board of the SBC which is similar to the less than ideal ground where the Oliver tomato plants abided. These pockets are areas where there are plenty of people who know very little about or don’t care to know about the saving message of God in Christ. The Allen and Edwards families will be planting in the High Point, NC area and they will be cultivating an inner city area known for gang activity, drugs, and violence.

A church plant will need more help than my neglected tomatoes. They will have some assistance from the North America Mission Board but they are also looking for partner churches and individuals to assist them as they seek to nurture the plant and harvest the produce. Embrace Church needs our assistance and the assistance of many partners who are willing to pray for them, who are willing to go to High Point and minister with them and, of course, ministry requires money.

The Ron Allen family took a step of faith and followed the call of God about 10 years ago to assist a church that was in a time of transition – Poplar Springs Baptist Church. This congregation is to be commended for calling one with a willing heart and untested wings in ministry. Ron proved himself to be both qualified and faithful during his tenure here and, for that, we are most appreciative. I know that God will use him in this adventure as well. I will be showing a video pertaining to the Embrace Church plant in High Point, NC tonight during Prayer Meeting and we will show some informational clips during our morning announcement times on Sundays for a couple of weeks. We can all pray for the Allen and Edwards families and we have the freedom to go and help and individuals. What can we do as a church?

Andy O.
(704) 300-0062