October 2010 Newsletter: Celebrating the Harvest

Celebrating the Harvest

I love autumn! If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably spent hours this summer hoeing, weeding, trimming, watering, and fertilizing. Now, in September and October, it’s payoff time! Everyday I can go out and harvest the fruits of my labors. Lush red tomatoes, piquant peppers, a zillion or two zucchinis, bags full of blackberries, and wonderful herbs. We’ve eaten like kings and queens for the past month. We also took a trip to Apple Hill in the Sierra foothills and enjoyed the bounty of the apple harvest. Yep, autumn is indeed harvest time.

If you’re involved in discipleship or mentoring, how do you measure your harvest? Do you pour into a person forever and never see progress? Or do you see a bud here, a blossom there, some full grown fruit from time to time? I admit, it’s harder to measure progress with people. They don’t have a predetermined harvest time like our gardens. But look for the maturation process and celebrate each and every step forward.

One man we disciple grew up with few social or life skills. When his parents died and he found himself living alone, even something as simple as emptying the garbage or doing his laundry was a new and complex skill for him. Regular attendance at church services was almost impossible to accomplish. For him, the maturing process is both behavioral and spiritual. We set up standards, called him regularly, and finally began seeing progress. We celebrate that progress whenever we see him. And then we agree on a new standard and begin encouraging growth toward that one. (Article continues below).

A woman was bound in fear. Everything scared her. Everything overwhelmed her. She took my class on Conquering Fear and now reports using the various skills she learned. Her countenance is brighter and she’s coping better with her stressful job. We rejoice every time she reports in.

Helping people grow deeply, heal progressively, and mature splendidly is a lot more challenging than gardening. And sometimes a lot harder to measure. Be sure to take time to enjoy the harvest, no matter how small it seems. Be sure to celebrate with those you are helping. It’ll do you both good!

Need a Speaker?

Retreats or Conferences, Large or Small
Pat’s primary goal is to minister the Word of God in a way that will encourage people to grow deeply, to heal progressively, and the mature into mighty oaks of righteousness. Pat loves working with wounded and challenging people, nurturing them to healing. Pat speaks on a wide variety of topics and is always willing to work with you to tailor an event for your audience. For a list of the types of workshops and retreats available, see the Events and Conferences page on the website.

Train My Leaders

Pat is available to train your small group leaders. She has over 30 years experience in leading small groups and coaching leaders. Her first book, Small Group Bible Studies: How to Lead Them remains a classic, despite being out of print in the U.S. (It’s in it’s 8th printing in Korea!) Her second book, Why Didn’t You Warn Me? How to Deal with Challenging Group Members continues to answer the questions many are afraid to ask. For a list of the types of workshops and retreats available, see the Branches section of the Events and Conferences page on the Mighty Oak Ministries website.

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