I’m often asked, “What business are you in?” I sometimes ponder what reaction I’d get if I said, “I’m in the people-growing business.” Ministers are grown. Students don’t arrive in our Bible school classrooms as spiritual giants. They come with willing hearts and pass through a spiritual formation and maturation process. Effective Bible school programs enable students to reach their maximum potential. We’re equipping others for works of service in God’s kingdom (Ephesians 4:12) and in apostolic ministry. Like Robert Dale once said, we’re “sowing seeds of ministry and growing believers toward leadership.” That is one of the chief purposes behind ministry. Like a sign I saw, “We build Pentecostal leaders to grow Pentecostal churches.” Spiritual growth is one of our four core values. We value helping people grow.
We create a “culture of growth.” It’s the way we do things around here. I sometimes lament when I see other churches with more developed educational programs than ours. We can make a difference. John Maxwell in Go for Gold mentions a nursery in Canada that displays a sign on its wall: “The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago…The second best time is today.”
Our work will affect long after we’re gone. A Greek proverb says, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Be deliberate at leaving a mark on this planet, to do something that imparts seeds of truth to the next generation, and impacts eternity for our world. Someone once said, “If your vision is for a year, plant wheat; if your vision is for a decade, plant trees; but if your vision is for a lifetime, plant men.” When a friend asks, “What have you done today?” I hope you can thankfully respond, “I saw someone grow today and I helped. I’ve been planting people; growing giants!”