In 1964, while I was pastoring a church in northern Michigan, God planted three prayer seeds in me. He led me to pray three “seed” prayers: “Lord, give me a stronger prayer life, give me a deeper love for your Word, and give a heart for evangelism.” By the time I became the pastor of Peace Church in South Holland, IL, these seeds had grown to small plants in my heart and life. Those same three seeds grew in Peace Church and contributed to the launch of a ministry now known as Coffee Break.
We didn't know it then, but God was preparing for harvests far beyond our small beginnings. Before long God began to plant and nurture similar desires in other churches and their “seeds” grew, first in the Chicago area, then in the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and eventually into fifty-five other denominations.
When Coffee Break arrived in Korea in 1990, it grew rapidly for the same reason that it had grown in many North American churches. The seeds were planted in the good soil that God had prepared. When I traveled to Korea to speak at their 8th biannual Coffee Break Conference this past January, God’s amazing seed-planting and harvesting ways became even more clear to me.
The first church I attended during my visit there had grown to about 3000 members in just nine years. The second Korean church at which I worshiped had four Sunday worship services. Another Korean Church I visited had about 30,000 members, a staff of 140, and 1300 missionaries. The missionaries, not always attending Coffee Break groups in their churches, began forming their own off-site groups.
These Coffee Break groups included both men and women — church leaders and spouses — from that church and from other churches in the region. This meant that Coffee Break was capturing the hearts of the church leaders. Today, I am told, Coffee Break ministries have taken root in twenty-four countries of the world.
What a great “planter and harvester”, God is — the GREATEST ever. He plants seeds in hearts that grow into ministries. He plants seeds in one church that grows into other churches. He plants seeds in one nation that grow into other nations. What a God we have. “Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of being your seed-planting, harvesting servants!”
Questions For Groups:
- What "seeds" or desires may God have planted in you?
- How might you pray with your Coffee Break or Group Leaders about those things?