Posted by: everynation | June 24, 2011

Discipleship and Gardening

By Joey Bonifacio

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. Genesis 2:8

After God created the first man He placed him in the garden. Isn’t it interesting that God made the first man a gardener. I am convinced that God has an important reason why. That’s because much of life is like gardening.

God’s intent was man would learn how to live life as he tended the garden. It was His way of teaching man – the very first “discipleship program”, if you may.

Like gardening the idea of discipleship relationships involves many different factors and is not quite as simple as transferring information. It requires checking the condition of the soil (heart). Some soils are just not ready and require a period of waiting. Others need to be prepared, plowed and fertilized.

The there’s the matter of the right seed planted in the right season, the changing weather conditions, the nurturing and care of young plants, the removing of weeds, bugs and a host of other considerations. The considerations are too many that even after you’ve done everything you can, you still need God.

Similarly discipleship relationships require patience, certain skills, training and the right attitude and timing. After all the Bible does say that people are like plants, more accurate like trees. In the end the task of disciple making is very much like gardening.

We prepare the soil, we sow the seed, water it, watch, nurture and care, but in the end God is the only one who can make it grow. In the next few weeks I will be posting insights on discipleship and gardening. It is my prayer and hope that these writings will inspire you to go to be a disciple who goes and makes disciples.

Joey Bonifacio is the regional director of Every Nation in Asia. He oversees the Victory Metro Manila congregation in the Philippines and is also the senior pastor of Victory Fort church in Bonifacio Global City (a central business district).

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