I meet a fair number of people who make the mistake of thinking that churches make disciples. There has never been a church that has made a disciple. Only Christians make disciples. The church, however, is by far the best place to make them!
When Christ started the church a little over two thousand years ago He had this incredible idea of starting disciple making greenhouses all over the world. In other words, Jesus was creating environments for spiritual growth that could exist in every community around the planet. A genius idea!
A greenhouse is a great but often neglected picture of the church. A greenhouse is a place that is focused on growth. In a greenhouse seeds are planted. Plants are watered, fertilized, and given sunlight. Plants are then moved from the greenhouse into the world to produce fruit. Seeds are brought back into the greenhouse and the process begins all over again.
The key to a greenhouse, however, is not the planting and reaping process. It is the people. A greenhouse with no gardener is a wasted space. Greenhouses only work because they have people in them that make the environment work.
A church, like a greenhouse, is an environment that works because it is filled with people who understand the purpose of the environment. They understand that a greenhouse exists to be an environment for plant growth. The greenhouse is not intended to be a garden. It is not designed to be a farm. A greenhouse does not house every possible plant.
The church is the God-designed place to make disciples. It is a great environment if gardeners remember why it exists.