Church•Groups•Healing • 4 minutes to read
Springtime always makes me think about planting gardens.
I have many fond memories as a little kid kneeling next to my dad in the garden behind our Wyoming home. My dad took great pride in growing vegetables throughout the summer, and he typically invited us kids into the process—both the planting and the harvesting! As a kid, I certainly found the harvesting more enjoyable—eating fresh carrots, radishes, even strawberries, straight from the garden was always a treat. But the planting was always a little confusing. My dad would open up the smallest package and tell us how these seeds would produce baskets full of good food. A whole package of carrot seeds could fit easily inside a thimble. As a kid I wondered, How could something so small produce so much? Season after season, though, I would get to eat the harvest—a tangible proof of what seeds could become.
This past March, I had the opportunity to travel to Krakow, Poland, along with Rodney Wright, another member of the Pure Desire Speaking Team. A small group of leaders in that country, headed up by Dr. Michal Slawick, had been translating Pure Desire resources, getting trained in group leadership, and readying churches to launch groups. With Dr. Slawick as our guide, we traveled around for a full week to help support and catalyze the start of a Pure Desire Ministry across that country.
While there, we met with pastors and leaders at four locations in three different cities. We shared 11 different times about the approach of Pure Desire and how this approach integrates with the Bible and the church. One of the pastors we spent time with on the trip is the denominational president of the Church of God Poland, named Pastor Wojtek Wloch. Over 10 years ago, Pastor Wojtek (pronounced “Voy-tech”) listened to a Christian psychologist explain the impact of pornography on the brain, and how porn use resulted in tremendous shame for many in the church. God opened Wojtek’s eyes and convinced him that sexual struggles were a major factor keeping men at arm’s length from the church.
Ten years later, in 2019, Pastor Wojtek was invited to attend the regional Foursquare Church conference, being held in Port Angeles, Washington. While on this trip, he was hosted in the home of a 70-year-old retired couple. During his stay, the husband shared his personal story about sexual addiction and the freedom he had found in a Pure Desire group. He testified to how God had used Pure Desire to transform his life and marriage. In that humble home, a light went on for Pastor Wojtek—he finally had his next steps! He went home and began to lay the foundation of what is now becoming Pure Desire Poland! Pastor Wojtek has been the primary figure gathering the launch team, providing resources, and creating access in churches.
What is exciting to me is that Pastor Wojtek already has a deep sense that God is calling the church of Poland to help bring Pure Desire Ministries to countries across Eastern Europe. Before they have even launched their first official group, they are already praying about the spread of healing groups to places like the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, and even Russia. Wojtek sees Poland serving as a beachhead for healing so that others might one day launch groups as well.
I am inspired by the “small seed” faith of Pastor Wotjek. His eyes are on the harvest, even as he helps drop the first seeds into fertile ground.
I have never met the 70-year-old gentleman in Port Angeles, but I can’t help but think about him today. He opened up his home to a foreigner and, as part of a long conversation that evening, ended up sharing his story of healing. He probably hadn’t planned to, but a still, small voice inside said it was the right time and so he shared.
I am inspired by the “small seed” faith of this man, though I may never meet him and he may never know the impact his story will have. He chose to be vulnerable and let God use his story to inspire another believer.
The truth is, you and I will face countless “small seed” moments in our lives; opportunities to share our story, show grace to a struggling friend, or invite someone to consider joining a recovery group. At the moment, the words we use may seem simple and the impact minimal. But God—our God—is in the business of making seeds GROW.
In his first letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul was helping settle a debate among the believers in that city. The church was arguing—as best we can tell—about who was the most important leader based on the impact they had on the church. Paul redirects their attention, and in doing so, gives you and I a powerful statement about our role in this world:
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.1 Corinthians 3:7-8 (NLT)
You never know how God will use your story! It could be that your vulnerability and your willingness to be real with others could open the door to healing for another person, a couple, a church, or maybe even a whole country.
That’s the thing about seeds—they always look small at the beginning. We may have difficulty imagining how much life could come from such a small and seemingly insignificant item. But when seeds are planted, we put the potential for life-changing impact in God’s very capable hands.
Let’s get after the planting…the harvest is sure to come.
The views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are those of the author alone and do not reflect an official position of Pure Desire Ministries, except where expressly stated.