What would be your manifesto for church growth – your winning strategy to build up God’s people? Maybe we’d centre our manifesto on miracles, or political reform, or even military force. But Jesus’ manifesto focusses on something quite surprising: his word.
In this parable in Mark 4 the sower scatters the word far and wide, and it doesn’t really seem like a great strategy: the seed is snatched away by the devil, or scorched by the trials of life, or choked by the desire for other things. But some seed does fall on good soil, and the result is astonishing! This seed bears fruit, thirtyfold, sixtyfold and a hundredfold.
So let’s keep listening to Jesus’ words, trusting that his manifesto for growth is right and best, even though it can look weak.