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When will we see a harvest?

“Do you think the Pharisees took it as a compliment when Jesus said, ‘I’ve not come for the righteous but for sinners?’”

“I’ve never thought about that.”

I’ve never thought about that.

I [Charlie], just this week, was presented with a question in Bible Study that I’d never considered. Did the Pharisees (or at least some of them) accept Jesus’ explanation of his actions in Matthew’s house as sufficient?

I’m grateful to the friend who brought this consideration to mind. I’m still chewing on it.

The fact that we are growing in the midst of this labor is part of its beauty. To further emphasize the power of God to grow us, the guy who offered this insight isn’t even a Christ follower and has never been part of a Bible Study. He had to buy a Bible the week before we started!

The apostle Paul told the Colossian church that he had an energy working within him that strengthened his labors. His primary desire was to see people reach maturity in Christ. God gave him an insatiable appetite for kingdom expansion. It’s an appetite and aspiration we share with anyone who has been part of starting churches.

There’s a prayer Leslie and I have prayed over the course of our relationship. We’re continuously praying for God to grow us. Whether in our early days of teaching and youth ministry, the difficult season of miscarriage prior to becoming parents, or more recently persevering through the pandemic, we’ve always believed that God is growing us. This growth mindset has been essential to our faith formation.

Recently, I asked Leslie, “Do you think we’ve had any seasons of harvest, or are we just always in growth mode?” In hindsight, we identified 2019 as a harvest year. We were in a groove socially and as parents; we were contributing in meaningful ways to the church; we could fall asleep at night.

Here’s the thing, though, we didn’t know it was a harvest season while we were in it! We were praying the same prayer for growth in 2019 that we prayed when we got married in 2009 and continue to pray today in 2022.

Paul told the Corinthians that we plant and water, but God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3.6-7). I know that we aren’t the same people we were when we got married or when we moved out to Connecticut. I can see fruit harvested.

The same can be said of City Coast. I don’t know exactly how God is giving the growth, but I know a Bible Study that didn’t exist a year ago has reached one new guy and done at least one new thing in my soul. By God’s grace, we’re growing together. And even that is the harvest of a prayer we prayed with many of you – that City Coast would be a place for people to grow and thrive.

Heaven will be the ultimate harvest. Until then, we will continue planting and watering with all the energy He powerfully works within us, hoping to present everyone mature in Christ.


People who have never been to church are participating in our gatherings.


God, make yourself known to people by any means possible.


Him [Christ] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me (Colossians 1.27-28, ESV).