August 11, 2008

Sowing and Reaping

Toward the end of July, Central received the largest gift in institutional history. The Des Peres Baptist Church of St. Louis, MO, came to the conclusion of its season as a local congregation at the end of 2006. The remaining members of the congregation discerned that a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of their property should be dedicated to the preparation of ministers through our seminary. As I have reflected on this stunningly generous gift, I have been reminded of The Apostle Paul’s instruction: “the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

A significant portion of the Des Peres legacy has been sown into the seedbed of Central. And as a final act of worship, the church sowed bountifully! Through the self-giving of this congregation, Central will be able to cultivate a harvest of excellent ministers. The seed sown will come to life in promising new leaders prepared to lead congregations toward health and mission. Most of the good folk of Des Peres will never be able to benefit fully from their sowing, but they have lived faithfully, trusting that God will honor their trust. They planted, others will water, and God will give the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6 paraphrase.) How grateful we are for such abundance and enduring ministry.

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