Remember WAAAAAY back in March and our, “Won’t you be my Neighbor” series? I barely do, and I even preached one of the sermons!
Teachers will tell you that retaining information is a huge challenge. How many times have you read something inspiring, heard a life changing sermon, or been floored by an insight during Bible study? If we’re even a little diligent about our basic spiritual practices (Bible study, prayer, corporate worship, small group, stillness-solitude-silence, etc.) we can expect to regularly learn something new. But how quickly we forget those very same awesome insights!?
So, what about Apples?
At the end of the “Neighbor” series we used one of those tools. Everyone who attended in person on March 21st went home with an apple. The learning attached to this object is that the purpose of an apple is not for eating, looking pretty or tempting naked ladies in the Garden of Eden. Apples are for making more apple trees. It’s a reminder that, as followers of Christ, a solid 1/3 of our purpose is to make more followers of Christ. You see it every time you walk into the AC3 building: Love God, Love the Church, Love the World. Ultimately, this is expressed by making more disciples who themselves love God, therefore become part of his Church, and then turn around and love the World by making more disciples!
The Apple Challenge!
The challenge we gave the apple recipients was to enjoy their apples, but then save the seeds and literally…grow them. Watch them germinate, and even transplant them so that someday, the resulting trees will produce more fruit, AND a long-lasting reminder of Jesus’ command to make disciples.
Back on March 21st, I wrapped up the sermon with the above pictures as a reminder of our disciple making heritage at AC3. The Gettys, Hollands and the Thiessens planted the first seeds in 1994. In 1995, Brenda and myself, along with a half dozen others joined in.
Then on March 22nd, I planted 8 seeds from the apple I took home. These three apple tree seedlings emerged.
Yesterday, I transplanted 2 of them in what I hope will one day be an orchard in my little suburban farm experiment. The third, I will give away. Church, we will do the planting and the watering…and God will make them grow.