I heard such a good word last week at a conference (The Praxis Gathering), and I have to share it!
In our work with people, are we acting as gardeners or engineers?
Gardeners cultivate the soil that’s already there and wait on the factors there to bring the growth. Gardeners can’t rush the process; they simply cultivate what’s in their control to help grow the plants. In contrast, engineers develop something from scratch. All control and timing comes from them.
So, as ministers, as leaders, do we operate with the perspective that in each person we’re investing in that God’s already at work in their lives, or are we trying to force the growth in someone from scratch?
Let’s think about the relationships in our lives: Where do we see where we operate as a gardener and where we operate as an engineer?
The problem with being an engineer in relationships is that you could try to force them in a direction they’re not meant to go. They could have other things in their lives currently that God is bringing to light that you can simply help show in them.
Being a gardener in relationships is a lot more freeing, gives room for God’s timing, and takes unnecessary responsibilities off of our shoulders. It also allows the other person to experience growth and understanding in the timing that’s meant for him or her, leading them towards more of God’s direction.
Enjoy gardening this week 🙂
(Gardener vs. Engineer Concept Credit: Ben Sterke)