Friday, 20 April 2018

C Columns

'Gather, Scatter, Matter' Three little words that define life

By RM Drury

“Gather, Scatter, Matter.” I first heard these words put together at a church meeting. Leadership was sharing and encouraging the folks who come to the church to commit to partnering with the church by gathering regularly, scattering by engaging in the community inside and outside of the church, and making a difference (mattering) by using our God­-given time, treasure and talents through service, generosity and finances — again inside and outside of the church.

This is a scriptural concept and not something that is new. I had just never heard it summed up in this way and wrapped up in a nice, neat package. Thank you, church!

Gather: Hebrews 10:23­-25

Scatter: Acts 2:42­-47

Matter: Ephesians 4:1­16

As I thought about the concept of Gather, Scatter, Matter, I saw so much more than just how this can apply to church life. This concept applies to our daily lives as well. Think about life is all about Gather, Scatter, Matter. As parents we gather our kids around the dinner table or we pile them all in the car to go on vacation. Then when they are grown, they scatter — going to college, getting married, getting jobs. And hopefully, if we have done our job as parents properly, we have made a positive impact on their lives. What we have done as parents mattered. In turn we see each child gather, scatter and matter in their personal life, at their workplace, and in the scope of their own little family.

In our home, when our children were growing up, we sat at the dinner table every evening. This was a time of regrouping and reconnecting, touching base with each child. This was our gathering time. It wasn't always pretty...there was spilt milk, lap chops (that is our term for when a child cuts his or her meat and it lands in his or her lap), and disagreements:

“Mo­-om, he's looking at me!”

“Mo­-om, she's sitting too close!”

Sigh... But I wouldn't exchange a moment of it for all the coffee at Dutch Bros. because there was also laughter and sweet times. We would hear about how one brother stuck up for another brother. Or how our boys were watching out for their little sister. We would hear about field trips and what they learned. We would hear about who likes who and the boy/girl drama. We would hear about what happened when our children sang at the old folks' home or served meals to the needy with the Boy Scouts. We saw them scattering and making a difference (mattering) in the lives of each other and the lives of people outside our family.

In Matthew 13:4­9, Jesus told a parable of a farmer who scattered seeds. The farmer first has to gather his seeds, then he can scatter them. But once scattered, only some of the seeds landed on good soil — only some of the seeds mattered. In verses 18­23 of that same chapter, Jesus explains the parable. What I see is that if the farmer never gathered or scattered, none of the seeds would have mattered.

Gather, Scatter, Matter are intertwined. But it starts with gathering. Whether you gather at the dinner table, gather on Facebook, gather with a group of friends, or gather in the church, that's where it starts.

For once you gather, seeds of life and love will be scattered, and it will matter.

“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”— Matthew 13:23 (NIV)

Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother and retired Christian preschool teacher with a Certificate of Achievement in Early Childhood Education from Moorpark College. She is a former insurance executive and trainer. She has served the Lord for over 40 years in a church setting in many capacities, with most of her time spent in children’s ministry. Her heart is sharing God’s Word and its life application through her blog at 

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