A glimpse into how members of MBC’s pastoral team support one another

Every Monday morning Jane Coates circulates some thoughts and prayers around the MBC Pastoral Care Team. This week Jane’s message focuses on gardening and growth.  

Every year Sam and I plant sunflower seeds. Our friends, family and colleagues around the country and far off places in the world, New Zealand, Australia, also plant sunflower seeds and then send us images. This year we planted 15 giraffe sunflower seeds that would grow to perhaps 2 to 3 metres tall. It always amazes me that from a small seed we can end up with a plant that is 3 metres tall! We never know how many of the seeds will germinate and thrive and observing our plants this year, we can see that some have already grown tall and strong and some are not growing as well. We need to water them regularly, feed them generous amounts of Growmore and fertilizer, transplant them into larger pots with good compost so that their roots can spread and develop and  as they are growing we need to secure them to garden canes and supports on a sunny wall. Our neighbours walk past our garden and smile at the dinner plate sized sunflower heads nodding at them over the wall. By the time they reach one metre tall, they need to have support which we do with string and garden canes. They are secured safely to the canes and the wall to protect them against the wind.

Our sunflower plants are a useful picture of our growth as Christians.  There are many things that are helpful or essential to me as I grow. There are also things that might limit my growth. I need warmth as I get going-this is a new beginning. I need water and nourishment. I need sunshine, light and the right temperature. I need time and the right environment-this process cannot be hurried or fast tracked. I need a space to expand, stretch and grow if I am to reach my full potential. I occasionally need protection in the days of wind and storm. I need air above and below ground – below ground is just as important so that my roots can grow and spread- or they may fail. I need to be secure and tied into those things that will hold me up and help me to be strong. If any of these things go wrong then this can be a ‘limiting factor’ and my growth can be stunted, I may not reach my potential or I may give up altogether. This would be sad as I would never produce flower or fruit – and with it that potential to start new seed and life.

And so, I need a nurturing fellowship, Bible teaching, the Holy Spirit and prayer to breathe through my being, a space to develop my strengths and work out my gifts, skills and potentials. A place to be rooted and the support of others who will help me to be strong. I need those who are strong when I am in that vulnerable place so that I can be held up. I need to be given time to develop and grow- growth cannot be hurried! I need fellowship and fun, companionship and challenge, networks and inspiration. I need role models and prayer supporters. With His help I will grow tall.

Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done. Colossians 2 v7

And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love. Ephesians 3v 17


Lord, be with us this day,

Within us to purify us

Above us to draw us up

Beneath us to sustain us

Before us to lead us

Behind us to restrain us

Around us to protect us.

Patrick c 389-461


PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com