Organizations love pictures. They love visual models of explaining the things that they do because as human beings, we think in visual stories. If you were to imagine a famous story right now, would you imagine the words that make up that story or would you visualize it? Chances are you would visualize it. Organizations love pictures because with a picture we can explain something very simply that could otherwise take many words to explain…possibly even a thousand.
This week on the podcast we talked a little bit about pictures. Specifically, we talked about our brand new logo, what it means, and how we developed it. We also talked about a tree. Why did we talk about a tree?
A tree grows from a seed. What does it need to grow? Well, it needs fertile soil and favourable conditions. More delicate trees often require someone to tend to them. As a tree grows, it branches out and upwards. It grows from a single point, sets strong roots and then creates networks built in its image. Strong roots and a strong trunk ultimately lead to strong branches. Then blossoms turn to fruit and that fruit feeds. The overabundance of fruit falls to the ground and its seeds grow yet another tree. This is how we grow a forrest.
This is also how we grow a community of faith. Parishes require strong roots. They require the culture (see soil) to be fertile because you can’t grow trees in bad soil. You might get a little underbrush and this might serve to cover the ground, masking the facts that fields are mostly barren. However, you’ll never grow a tree that bares fruit.
People are fruit. People who’ve come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ are the fruit of a tree that is planted in fertile soil. They are fed and they feed and then they plant. They plant themselves in communities and in families where the soil is a culture of evangelization, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Are you trying to figure out how to explain how your church should lead. Maybe you need a few less words and a few more pictures of trees.