“And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.””
(Mark 4:26-29 ESV)
As we engage in ministry, whether it be as pastors, missionaries, or lay people, we find ourselves falling short of the expectations others have for us. Why aren’t more people joining the church? Why aren’t more people coming to faith in Christ? Why aren’t more churches being planted in the United States? Why aren’t more churches being planted around the world?
We often find ourselves on the receiving end of the blame. These things aren’t happening, we’re told, because we’re not doing our job well enough. Perhaps if we worked harder, things would be different. Perhaps if we were replaced, the next person would do a better job and accomplish more.
We have the same tendency as those pointing their finger at us. We place the blame upon ourselves as well. We tell ourselves that, if only we were better preachers, things would change. We tell ourselves that, if only we were more cool, hip, rad (insert your own description here), things would be different. We tell ourselves that, if only we worked harder, things would be different.
One of the hardest, yet most refreshing truths of ministry is that we can only scatter the seed. We can do nothing more. We cannot cause the seed to sprout or to grow. We cannot cause it to turn into a full grain in the ear.
It’s the hardest truth of ministry because we want to think that we can do something. If fact, we want to have a role to play in results of our ministry. We want to be able to take credit for good things that are taking place. And we have to get over ourselves. We have to acknowledge that, although we scatter the seed, it’s not we who produce the growth.
However, it’s also refreshing. And it’s refreshing because we can simply scatter the seed without feelings of guilt or blame. We can scatter the seed, as we’ve been called, entrusting the results to God.
World Missions Director
The World Missions Committee is happy to announce that Rev. Earl Korhonen has accepted the call to be the AFLC World Missions Director. Rev. Korhonen has served his current congregation, Stavanger Free Lutheran, in Garden City, Iowa for the past 13 years. He has been in the pastoral ministry since 1995.
Earl and his wife Joan have had a long history of missions interest. Joan is the sister to Sonja Dahl a former AFLC missionary. Her family was involved in the White Earth & Elbow Lake Village Indian Mission, and the Norwegian Lutheran Mission. After their marriage they became involved in the Hauge Foreign Mission. Earl has been on the Hauge Foreign Mission Board for 20 years serving as the treasurer for the last 19 years. He is also on the AFLC Commission on Evangelism Board.
The Korhonens have kept close contact with the Norwegian Lutheran Mission making frequent trips to Norway to attend their missions’ conferences and district meetings. Earl and Joan made trips to Hungary in 2004 and 2016 to work alongside of evangelical Lutherans in Hungary. They enjoy traveling and hearing the hearts of people who love missions saying, “It’s like getting re-fueled for ministry.”
Earl graduated from AFLBS, BA degree from University of Wisconsin, Superior, Master of Divinity from AFLTS. He is in the process of finishing his Doctor of Ministry degree. Joan attended the Lutheran Brethren Bible School and continued at the NLM Bible Folk School in Melhus, Norway. She has a BS degree in pre-school and elementary education from Crown College.
Rev. Korhonen plans to start as World Missions Director March 1st and will travel to each of the AFLC mission fields accompanied by the former director Del Palmer.
The World Missions Committee wishes to thank you for your prayer and input as they walked through the process of calling a new director. Please continue to pray for the Korhonens as they take up the responsibilities of AFLC World Missions.