Friday, March 3, 2017

Lessons from the Sowers and Colonel Sanders

Talking about good stewardship with a Sowers is like talking to Colonel Sanders about fried chicken. They know their stuff and have definite opinions on the subject. Just for kicks, I looked up quotes by Colonel Sanders and found that what I intended to be a bit of wittiness to grab your attention was a better analogy than I thought. So, I’ve decided to season this post with a couple of quotes from the Colonel himself. Why? Because I can, people. Because I can!

“No hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best there was in me.” ~ Harland Sanders

I was able to talk to Allen about how Sowers 4 Pastors encourages others to give the best there is in them. Unlike many other organizations you might encounter, you won’t catch Sowers 4 Pastors swooping in and building an elaborate church structure for one congregation in one community. They much prefer to spread the resources with which they have been entrusted by assisting multiple congregations in the building of multiple churches for multiple communities.

It’s that “sweat equity” Allen believes in so strongly. He wants the indigenous pastors they assist, and their congregations, to feel the pride of ownership that comes from working for something. When an outside group comes in and builds a church for a community, it can build unrealistic expectations. When the roof needs repair, the congregation may expect the builders to come back and do the work. However, when an outside group works side by side with the congregation to build the structure, or simply offers partial funding, the people of that church are infinitely more likely to keep the building in good repair. It matters more to them because they have more invested in it.

“Do all you can and do it the best you can. It’s the only way you ever get that feeling of accomplishing something.” ~ Harland Sanders

When it comes to spending financial resources, Allen, Trish, and Russell are a lot like three very experienced and frugal homemakers making out their shopping list for the week. You know the type of homemaker I mean--the type who plans meals around that week’s sales circulars, checks out which stores have the best deals, and clips coupons when it makes sense to do so. They’re all about stretching the ministry’s bucks by utilizing indigenous pastors.

They operate the way they do because they are in a country where there is a good, indigenous, Christian base. They are not starting from scratch in a country where Christianity is forbidden. There are Christians for Sowers 4 Pastors to partner with. Think of it as the difference between planting one seed and blowing on a dandelion puff and watching the wind take hold of the tiny seeds and scatter them in all directions.

Rather than planting one church, it makes sense to build up the indigenous pastors and prepare them to scatter the gospel throughout the mountains of Western Honduras. In conclusion, I leave you with one final quote from the Colonel. It sounds an awful like a Sowers’ philosophy, too.

“There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there.” ~ Harland Sanders

- posted by Christi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You guys are doing a phenomenal work of grace. I talk about what you are doing there all the time in hopes that I may encourage others to give to your ministry. In doing so, I met a man that was on a team that went to you a little while back and contributes to your ministry. Because your work touches so many far, my world has gotten a little smaller. I love you guys. May the Lord bless you richly in all you do.
~Douglas Richards