Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cell Cycles and Church Growth

Cells go through cycles as a natural part of life. Most cells in the Animalia and Plantae kingdom spend 90% of the time PREPARING to divide and grow. They reproduce cell organelles (mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, lysosomes, Rough Endoplasmic Reticilum and the Smooth counterpart, etc) in a phase know as G1. In the S phase, DNA is replicated (a second copy is made). Next is G2 in which the volume of the cell increases dramatically. 

The final 10% of a cells cycle involves mitosis or nuclear division (the two copies of DNA separate). As each of the four phases of mitosis occur (Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Telophase) the cell changes shape radically. An animal cell which is often an irregular circle becomes more like a 2-nut peanut shell. Finally the "pinching" on the middle of the shell (Telophase) occurs creating two independent cells.

But seeds are a bit different. They are still alive but in the state of quiesence. This G0 state keeps the cells maintained, but they do not grow, divide, or use energy. Everything is prepared, poised, and stored, ready for action.

When a seed gets wet in the spring, "dormant-like" enzymes are triggered into action. If oxygen is in good supply in the soil, the cell chemistry is activated toward growth. As the temperature of the soil increases, so does the activity of the enzymes. All this causes the sead coat to split open, and the embryonic plant in the seed emerges utilizing all of its stored energy. 

Is it necessary for a farmer to know all this for him to be successful? Certainly not. Mark 4:26 and following agrees.

He knows to scatter, or plant, the seed. He goes to bed and gets up the next day. He repeats this many times. While he is doing his work to prepare for harvest, the seed germinate (the entire process above), makes leaves, forms fruit, and fills out the fruit. At the right time, the farmer puts his sickle to the wheat field to harvest the grain that can sustain his family.

Whether we know all the intricate parts of how life is maintained and reproduced is not as amazing as to just watch life "happen".

In the same way, we may know all the intricate parts of what a church need to grow, but still can not MAKE it grow.

Maybe Paul had it right in his statement to the Corinthians. He planted. His co-worker Apollos watered. BUT GOD GAVE THE INCREASE. Progress happens on GOD'S TIMETABLE.

Should we pray for "planters" and people to "water" a congregation? Or, should we simply pray for God to bring the harvest soon??

1 comment:

  1. Very Good Article!
    Even though God gives the increase...the farmer still has to plant, water, weed...etc. So yes, I would think that we still pray or the planters and harvesters etc....but THANK GOD for the increase.


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