Like many of you, I like to garden. Every year I till the ground plant seed, fertilize, water, and cultivate the garden area. Yet, I cannot produce any amount of growth in my garden. This year’s garden did not produce the best crops I’ve seen, yet God blessed and gave the increase. There is a scripture passage from the Apostle Paul as he is writing to the church in Corinth that reads, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (ESV)
Whether in a garden, in your personal life, in a church or any other organization, God is the giver and sustainer of life. You can eat well live right, get proper amount of exercise, yet it is God who produces growth. In the midst I adhere to the belief that God has certain biotic principles at work in our lives enabling the growth process, both in our bodies and in the health of the church.
There are biotic principles working around you and me every day of our lives. Biotic refers to actions caused by living organisms. Biotic principles are the underlying causes which produce ongoing operative life.
Every living thing that God has created, person, animal, plant, has been created to grow and reproduce. Even the smallest blade of grass. These biotic principles are constantly working behind the scenes to produce this on-going growth and reproduction.
Let me share six biotic principles identified by Christian Schwarz in relation to your spiritual growth and the health of your church. As you read these can you identify how each one is at work in your church? Also identify how you could better employ these in your life to advance the health of your church.
- Interdependence: God created us to be interdependent with other believers to grow individually and corporately as a church.
- Multiplication: Like every tree, God created us not for endless growth, but to reproduce. A tree does not endlessly grow but drops seeds year after year to produce more trees.
- Energy transformation: Rather than force or coercion God’s ecological system uses the transformation of energy to bring about growth, even from unlike beings. While nourishing on the nectar of flowers and plants, bees and butterflies transfer pollens from one plant to another.
- Multi-usage: Trees gather nutrients through its root system and produces leaves each year to provide shade, nesting, and other necessities for bugs, animals, and people around the trees. After a season the leaves die, fall to the ground and decay, producing more nutrients to be absorbed by the roots.
- Symbiosis: The interconnected co-existing of two dissimilar beings for the shared benefits. We are not created to live alone in a silo, but to live in symbiosis with one another for the mutual benefit of being used by God in His kingdom work.
- Functionality: Every living thing God has created, has two great attributes; to bear fruit and to reproduce. This is their function.
What can you garner from understanding these biotic (not bionic) principles of healthy growth? What will you take to your church as you improve your usage of God’s biotic principles?