July 7, 2005
by Mike Jentes
If you have been around our home this summer, you know we have been working hard on our back "yard." Actually we eliminated the grass! But we have been growing some veggies, flowers and more.
One of the things we have planted was some strawberry plants. I have been intrigued by what I have heard about strawberry plants as it relates to organic church growth principles. Now I get to watch it up close.
See strawberries are not a typical fruit. Fruits normally reproduce by having a tasty seed packet--think apple, orange, or peach. See the seeds are the part that reproduces a new plant...which will bear more fruit.
Strawberries aren't like that. An actual strawberry doesn't have a seed embedded (just those pesky stick between your teeth things on the outside). A strawberry plant reproduces itself by sending out "runners"--string-like shoots that go out from the "mother" plant and then root and start another plant. You can pick up those runners in the picture above shooting out to the right of the strawberry plant. That picture was taken on June 3rd out back of our house.
Well it's a month later...what has happened? I took some more pictures of that same plant on the 4th of July:
Wow. That little runner that was just branching out now has 3 new plants starting to root. As the plant continues to grow and reach out.
That's how we envision reproducing house churches. That we will send "runners" out...and they will root and grow a new house church. That has already happened once this year with the birth of the 17th Avenue House Church.
The leaders of these new groups don't have to go far away...there are many pockets of people close who need reached.
So what is the big picture about these strawberry plants...well they form a whole patch...a blanket over the place where they are. Check out this picture>>>
That's what we dream about...what we are working toward.
A local expression of the church for every 500 people in urban columbus...
...a big strawberry patch blanketing urban columbus
Check out below some pictures posted on our blog July 6, 2005
for more pictures of the Strawberry Patch Vision
Some runners branching out
Here is the strawberry plant that had 2 little runners on June 3. On July 4th here is that same plant. If you look closely there are 5 runners off this plant now. The two original ones are now ...the one which has a new plant (fallen over) to the lower left of the picture & to the lower right (this runner continues off the picture).
a strawberry patch from here
This is the vision for urban Columbus...that there would be a local expression of the church for every 500 people here...
strawberry plants (like the house churches of thequest) sending out runners into new neighborhoods and pockets of people that would send out more runners that would create a strawberry patch blanketing urban Columbus.