Mark 4:26-29: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
This farming analogy explains God’s plan for building the kingdom. The farmer plants the seed and it grows by itself. Growth happens naturally, but the farmer must do the work preparing it first. When the harvest is ready, the farmer has a plan to use the gift of the harvest and follows up on it.
Thus, church growth is a combination of the blessings of God and the stewardship of man — a combination of divine intervention and human leadership.
In 1 Corinthians 3:6, the divinely-inspired Apostle Paul says he planted churches, Apollos came along and watered the seed, but it was God who gave the increase. Yes, church growth was all up to God, but humans played a part in the process. WE ARE CALLED TO DO GOD’S WORK ON EARTH. Those are not worldly works that are meant to earn our salvation. They are meant to meet Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We are to put people in the position to hear God’s word, respond to God’s grace and live their lives according to His will.