“Neither is he that plants anything nor is he that waters, but God who makes it grow.”—1 COR. 3:7.
“GOD’S fellow workers.” That is how the apostle Paul described the privilege all of us can enjoy. (Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.) The work to which Paul referred is the disciple-making work. He likened it to the sowing and watering of seed. If we are to be successful in that vital work, we need Jehovah’s help. Paul reminds us that it is “God who makes it grow.”
That humbling fact helps us to have a proper view of our ministry. We may work diligently at preaching and teaching, but ultimately all praise goes to Jehovah for any growth that might result. Why? Because try as we may, none of us can fully understand the growth process, let alone control it. King Solomon expressed the situation correctly when he wrote: “You do not know the work of the true God, who does all things.”—Eccl. 11:5.
Does our inability to understand the growth process make our work frustrating? No. Rather, it makes it exciting, intriguing. King Solomon said: “In the morning sow your seed and until the evening do not let your hand rest; for you are not knowing where this will have success, either here or there, or whether both of them will alike be good.” (Eccl. 11:6) Truly, when it comes to planting literal seed, we do not know where or if it will sprout. Many factors are beyond our control. Something similar can be said of the disciple-making work. Jesus highlighted this fact in two illustrations that were recorded for us in the 4th chapter of Mark’s Gospel.