Planting Seeds of Faith: Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries

“A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He said, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.”

Faith is something that grows over time. It’s not something that can be done or grown to check a box on a list. Rather, the reality about discipleship, faith, and ministry in general, is that one might not see the fruits of these labors in any sort of human timeline. But what we might witness are seeds being planted. Seeds like that of a fig tree, which one day might bear fruit. Seeds like that might be planted in an experience by a child or young adult enjoying outdoor ministry. Seeds like might be planted by another person in a community or congregation who sees gifts in another person, and encourages them.

Every disciple of the Nebraska Synod is a seed planter. One of the most obvious ways we live this out, is through the ministry of the synod by Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministry, including camp at Carol Joy Holling and Sullivan Hills. At these camps, youth, young adults, and people of all ages experience life together, spend time growing and sharing, and not just in your typical camp type environment, but one grounded in our shared faith in God’s love and promises. For we believe that though we might all be seed planters, we’re not the gardener. That’s God’s work, which we’re a part of. But because it’s God’s work, the seeds like those planted in a day or week spent at camp might not grow into a fig tree, someone of deep faith active in their congregation, or even a future pastor, deacon, or Parish Ministry Associate for many years after. Jesus calls us to be like gardener, planting seeds and caring for them, trusting that the one who brings the nourishing rains and abundant sunshine is also the one who is equipping, empowering, inviting, and calling all of God’s children. Be a seed planter. One easy way to start is to see what opportunities might be coming up through Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministry and to participate. Check out: today.

Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries is one of the many ministries of the Nebraska Synod bringing the Word to life in service. Thank you to you and your congregation for your support!

Throughout the season of Lent, the Nebraska Synod will be lifting up various Nebraska Synod ministries and serving arms that have a connection to the upcoming Sunday text. The text referenced here is from Luke 13:1-9, the Gospel reading for Sunday, March 20 – The Third Sunday in Lent.

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