Dig around the roots
By Steven Scheid
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
––Luke 13:6-9 (NIV)
The parable of the barren fig-tree seems irrelevant to an urban or suburban life. Our trees are seldom used to provide fruit.
The lessons are still powerful.
There is an expectation for a tree to bear fruit.
Ministry is to bear fruit. God’s orchard is to be full. The harvest is to be plentiful.
For the farmer (who has watched over the ministry for years) the thought of cutting down the tree is painful. He pleads with the owner, “Leave it alone for one more year.”
This plea is not left without a promise. The farmer commits to dig around and fertilize the tree.
What parts of our ministry need to be loosened? Are the roots bound and in need of a good “digging” to open them?
What are we willing to invest to feed the ministry?
Get back to the roots. The fruit is waiting to grow.
Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministry
General Commission on UM Men