Pastor's Pen - The Soil, Climate and Atmosphere of Growth

May 22, 2020

The Soil, Climate, and Atmosphere of Growth

Talk to the special people in your life using Paul's approach [found in the verses below.] Paul is enriching the soil; Paul is creating a good climate; Paul is spreading an atmosphere for growth.

 Let's go deeper, together, Chapter 1 of Paul's Letter to the Philippian Church

Verse 3.  I thank my God every time I remember you, 

Verse 4. (and I am) constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 

Verse 5. because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 

Verse 6. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. 

 This sounds like how I feel toward the folks at Church of the Cross.

 I feel this Gratitude for every person, every encounter, and consideration of one another.

 I go to God in prayer as advocate for each individual, for the marriages and families in an attitude of joyful anticipation. Prayer is a powerhouse.

Paul's words help me to recall that I have not been here at the foundation of the COTC folks' lives lived in Christ. Decades have occurred which included sharing and growing in the faith. This is humbling. I have much to learn. It will be fun to learn more and more.

Paul reaches deep down and utters the best take-away (worthy of committing to memory) of these four verses. Listen to his confidence (Phil 1:6): the good work in these brothers and sisters is opening up to a completion, to growth, to a deepening, becoming stronger, and a realization of the gifts God has provided and will provide to live ever more faithfully into the various callings.

Church is the soil, the climate and the atmosphere promoting the individual worth of every soul. Church life declares that an individual soul is not complete except in relation.

We have all been with people who think of us as less than capable. Each has a history alongside someone who underestimated you. Counted you as not worthy…

I have written this above with the congregation of COTC in mind. But it is also very wonderful to think of a one-on-one sharing between believers. In pairs, turning toward one another perhaps in a small group gathering. A Sunday School Class. On a retreat, where people move somewhere in pairs, to take turns, one as speaker other as focus, then switching places.

This is a wonderful bit of scripture for husband and wife to share, each taking turns as speaker and focus. It is so appropriate for parent spoken to a child that is a new Christian. Say for example, on the year following confirmation.

What are other situations, opportunities for us to share intimately with one another this strong word of affirmation and confidence that Christ is working in another's life; and equal confidence that the journey of faith and growth in him or her is far from complete? More wonderful is our prayer and our dream surrounding this precious other.


  1. Who, where and when were you left feeling unworthy, unappreciated, un-affirmed? 
  2. Give an example of someone who built you up, showed confidence in you?
  3. Describe a church what focuses on the climate, atmosphere, improving the soil.

Pastor Ben

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methodist, lexington church of the cross, ohio

Lexington Church of the Cross
236 Otterbein Dr.
Lexington, OH 44904

Phone: (419) 884-2150
Fax: (419) 884-0411

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Sundays: 9:30 a.m.

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