by Rev Joel Yong
Genesis 30:1-6 ESV
When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb? Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her.” So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.
The passage above is just an extract of an incredulous situation whereby sisters compete for a shared husband’s affection to see who could bear him more children.
Children should not be birthed to be bargaining chips for such a purpose. The reasons for their birth lead to a highly dysfunctional family a few years down the road. You will remember perhaps that the brothers also sought their father’s affection and sold Joseph (then youngest) into slavery.
The same applies to the birthing of churches.
Sometimes new churches are birthed out of strife. People don’t get along with the church so they get a few like-minded friends and they leave the church to start a new one.
Sometimes people leave their original church to start a new one out of convenience. They desire a location nearer their home, a smaller congregation and an emptier carpark. And it influences the way the new church is run! For example they may resist growth and intentionally avoid church growth to keep it small and the carpark spacious!
The reasons why we birth something new, matters.
So don’t do it out of competition, or out of strife or out of convenience.
Rather I’d say -do it only out of obedience to God who is leading you. If He isn’t leading you to do it, then don’t seek to create a birth on your own out of sheer stubborness -ask Abraham, Sarah and Hagar- see what happened when they last tried that. And check your motives and double check them again with varied individuals.
Because if we do birth something new- out of God’s prompting and not man’s reasons- then I am certain that it will flourish and grow and bear fruit in due season.