These are all volunteers. And these experiences make me wonder if we are doing enough self-seeding in our churches. Are we raising up the right leaders, helping them bear fruit in their own generation, and then allowing the seed of that fruit to ripen and mature into a new crop that can provide nourishment in a subsequent season? I'm not sure. I think we all too often wear out our lay leadership so they have nothing left to pass along that will create volunteers for the future.
I will probably eat tomatoes this summer from plants that I set out in another summer. I am hoping that might be the case in some of my churches: that the work I have done in a past season will bear fruit for the future, that there will be volunteers that sprout up to nourish a new generation.