In the parable of Jesus, from Mark 4: 26-29, the Lord makes an analogy of something that grows without the slightest human effort (a seed). This seed represents the amazing word of the gospel of Jesus Christ.– and it grows not only in the summer, but all throughout the year. Not just near you, but throughout the world.
This isn’t a plant. It is the Kingdom of God, the community of those who come to recognize Jesus as the Savior, who worship and follow him as their Lord, and who order their lives according to his Word. Large-scale trends lead us to a conclusion that mainline churches are dying. But the seed of the gospel continues to grow and flourish. Not all of the religion promoted in our churches is connected to the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As it turns out, what kind of seed you are planting seems to be related to whether or not it will keep growing, as Jesus said, until the harvest. Some kinds of Christianity are fading into irrelevance while another kind is continuing to grow.
But whether or not First Church continues to have impact or just fades to irrelevance is directly determined by our attachment to the good seed of the gospel of Jesus first and foremost. Let's not settle for anything less.