Planted [Session 2]

16/05/2019 11:42:07 AM | Lisa West-Newman

Keen to grow an edible garden, I purchased a number of fruit trees for our backyard that suited our sub-tropical climate. My friend Google told me I needed to prepare the soil for each tree in spots where they had the best chance of thriving. For the citrus trees, I was instructed to make sure the ground didn’t retain water and test the location before planting in it. So, I did test the hole and in testing it, found it wasn’t suitable.

Others might have seen this as a prompt to reconsider the positioning of the plant… but not I! I ignored the advice, planted my poor lemon tree there and watched it die within the year. I did not take the attributes of soil and the preparation of the tree seriously.

In cross-cultural work, we ignore the context to our own peril. A faith grown under protected, nurserylike conditions, a faith that isn’t prepared for the soil of another location, is unlikely to transplant well. Locations like Thailand have been largely resistant to the Gospel for many years with foreign-grown church styles failing to thrive. Global Interaction is seeking to empower communities of Ethnic Thai believers to develop their own distinctive way of following Jesus – in ways that can thrive in the Ethnic Thai context because they have grown out of it.

Watch: Episode 2 – Where you are Planted www.globalinteraction.org.au/GrowSow

  • A clear understanding of the differences between Buddha and Jesus was very important for Nan Tong. What distinction between the two led Nan Tong to choose Jesus?
  • What things did Nan Tong mention that he appreciated about his fellowship and why he wanted others to join them?
  • How is Nan Tong’s faith community different from your own?
Luke 8:4-15
Read through the parable of the soils and its explanation.

In these verses:
  • The farmer was sowing the seed of the Word of God into many different types of soil.
  • The four soils represent four responses to the Word.
  • Some people will be resistant; some will be open but their faith will wither under testing; others fail to mature in their faith due to distractions; and finally others will persevere and be incredibly fruitful.
  • What are the weeds (distractions) and rocks (obstacles) to the Gospel in the soil of our society? Which of these do you see in your own life and/or community?
  • What contrast between Jesus and the “gods” of our current context might be compelling to someone who is genuinely open to Jesus?
  • How does knowing that some soils will be resistant impact your witness?
  • Seek God for His direction on how we can better support one another in our faith community so that we can have a greater impact with those around us.
  • Ask God for the courage and wisdom to share His Word with one person this week in a way that is relevant to their lives. Share your experience with the group next week
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