Berwick Baptist Church

...on a journey of renewal

July                                                                                            2019     



Life on the Allotment                  

Over the past few years of having my allotment God has been using it to teach me lots of lessons about my Christian life and how God wants his church to grow, flourish and multiply.  I wouldn’t expect anything else when I plant and tend the allotment plot, if I don’t get a harvest it means something has gone wrong.  Either I’ve not planted seed and missed a growing season and a harvest, or something has damaged the crop, in my case it’s the battle of the slugs, snails and caterpillars.  I have an unseen war that is taking place, who is going to be eating the crops, me or the little creatures that lurk and stalk my seedlings.

The same is true about the garden of God’s church.  Many churches are not seeing the harvest of souls because no gospel seed has been sown, watered, guarded by prayer and allowed to come to harvest.  Sadly, the church has failed to share its faith for a number of reasons.  One of those reasons is because a generation of believers have not learnt how to share our faith, just as a generation has forgotten how to grow vegetables.  This is because all of the vegetables are now in the freezer shops or in the supermarket aisles. 

My grandfathers, father and uncles all had gardens and allotments.  They all knew how to grow amazing show leeks and won shows.  I failed to learn from them how to do this therefore last year I came second from last in the leek show with what looked like spring onions. I only remember little bits from seeing my dad and hearing him and other family members talking.  I failed to get alongside them and to pick their brains, to learn how to do things.  However I’m learning lessons on how to grow leeks and vegetables from YouTube and visiting champion leek growers in my home village in Wansbeck area.  I’m having to learn new skills to get a harvest and grow giant show leeks. 

The same is true for the church, we’ve not learned from the previous generation and because our culture has so dramatically changed, we have believed the lies of the devil, who whispers, “no one wants to listen to you, no one wants to come to church”.  That is a lie from hell itself, its contrary to the scriptures.  God highlighted to me over this past month a verse from Acts 28:28 that has increased my faith to believe God for a harvest of souls, as we’ve already over the past weeks seen three people give their hearts to Jesus and have had opportunity to share the gospel with people who want to listen to the story of Jesus.  People are looking and searching for that inner peace we have.  And if you use key words and phrases, about how Jesus can give you peace and take away the empty feeling you have inside, people’s ears prick up, they want the emptiness, and lack of peace to disappear from inside them and they will listen to you and me.  I believe that people are ready and WILL LISTEN! The seasons have changed and its time for a harvest if we will believe and act on God’s word and share our faith stories with our friends, neighbours, work colleagues and anyone we can. “Therefore, let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the gentiles, they WILL ALSO LISTEN.” Acts 28:28

John Hodgkins