Pruning - And New Growth
“Pruning leads to new growth.” That’s what my horticulturist neighbor once told me (with vigor). In pruning, you cut away what may be weak or fruitless but “It allows a plant to fill out with what is healthy.”
At Trinity we have a self-imposed pruning process called church planting – but we do not send out people who are weak or fruitless. Launching daughter churches IS like pruning as we can see and feel the gaps left by the leaders we’ve sent out. Survey the roster for Greater Hope in Mulberry or Grace Community in North Lakeland and you will see an amazing list of leaders from several different Trinity ministries. But with every successive core group we’ve sent out, we have watched God raise up men, women and students with true talent and courage.
Now, in our efforts to make sure that we remain healthy, we are initiating a new round of leadership training. Our elders just voted last week to begin a new round of officer nominations.
Our process requires that members nominate officer candidates. They have to willingly accept your nomination. Then they have to complete training. And then after testing (yes, they take real tests) they have to be approved by our existing officers.
What will occur in a few weeks is that members will receive a “Nomination Guide Packet” in the mail. This packet will include some things for you to review and pray over. You will learn about the distinctions we make between elders and deacons; you’ll see the basic biblical requirements for each office; and you’ll receive a nomination form. And once you’ve read all that you’re supposed to, and with prayer once you’ve spoken in person to the people you’d like to nominate and secured their agreement to be nominated, you have until the end of May to turn your nominations in. From there, our leaders will begin the process of training, and hopefully by early in 2019 we will have new officers to ordain at Trinity.
I want you to know how much it means to me that, as a congregation, you’re willing to give away talented people to help fuel a church planting movement in our region – in order to help reach the scores of people who do not yet know Jesus! And one consequence that I love is that it constantly positions Trinity to have to live by faith, and then we see God keep His Word to raise up new workers for His harvest.
Things to pray for:
– Gratitude. Give thanks to the Lord for how He has blessed us with fruitfulness. Thank Him for His power and grace at work here at Trinity and in our daughter churches. And thank Him for the countless people who serve as leaders – in a wide array of ministries!
– Decisiveness. If you are a member, ask the Lord to help you be decisive about whom you would nominate to help at Trinity as a deacon or elder. And if you are not a member, ask Him to help you follow through on the process of joining Trinity so that you can help with matters like this.
– Wisdom. Read James 1:5 and ask the Father to give us all wisdom as we discern who is most ready to help our congregation.
– Joy. Read Matthew 9:37-38, and rejoice that Jesus knows that we need workers and that He has given us a strategy for what to do about it!
Tim Rice, Lead Pastor & Director of Church Planting