From experience I know many become discouraged when they don’t witness progress in a given amount of time. This piece will hopefully (and prayerfully) put your frustrations into perspective and show you that each stage is essential

How does the garden grow?

I like to think of myself as a gardener (I certainly love it!). I know some of the theories of gardening. I am going to use my knowledge of gardening to illustrate how some aspects of the art, can equate to starting something new. The ‘new’ could be a project out of the norm, status quo or not the familiar path for most. Not everyone will understand your purpose. That’s alright because if they were meant to understand, they would have been given the vision! 

I found when I’ve had to break new ground in my garden, I’ve had to use a pickaxe and sometimes even a rotavator machine. A shovel usually isn’t enough to do the job. A shovel is not strong enough when the ground is hard or compacted full of rubble consisting of clay soil or just plain hard!

I’ve found that a pickaxe or rotavator goes deep and wide to cover the whole area and turn it over. Mind you, it takes a lot of effort strength and sacrifice of time and sometimes resources (human and money). That’s because I’ve found that I have had to hire someone to help with the process. 


When the pickaxe has done its job, only then can a spade be used to turn the soil. The next stage is to sift the soil for any stones and pebbles. Stones and pebbles can inhibit seeds from germinating because they will act like barriers stopping water from reaching the seed.

If there are weeds, they must be pulled up and destroyed and, in some cases, poisoned first. Weeds represent obstacles to growth physically and spiritually. Weeds sometimes appear as though they are real plants and some even come complete with flowers and shiny leaves, some would say. However, do not be fooled, their roots can strangle potential growth. Some people who come into your path are little like weeds. They look and sound great but dig the surface to understand their real intent….it takes divine discernment to understand the differences….


Before you are ready to plant you might need to enrich the soil with well-rotted manure or compost to give the plants, you choose a good start. 

Now you have done all the preparation you are ready to plant. Most plants will need watering regularly especially when they are establishing. 

In their growing stage some plants may need a good feed with something like liquid nitrogen or similar. 

So is it with a new project, i.e. your mandate from God. The water might represent the word of God. The food may represent good advice and guidance from the Holy Spirit and carefully selected mentor/s.

Support and the process of growth

At the planting stage, you will need good advice and guidance to ensure your project or mission progresses and grows. Proverbs 15: 22 states’ Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counsellors, they succeed’. I have several mentors for a different aspect of my ministry and my businesses. I have a strategist who has consistently helped me to envision areas of my ministry I had not considered initially. She has also kept it real with me which most of us need. Another mentor one who is an international speaker was a pastor for 25 years, and thus has been able to advise me on scaling my businesses and ministry. Another who holds me to account, i.e., have I done what I said I was going to do. 

At the planting stage, it is tempting to think there is no traction or movement, but as I revealed at a training course for leaders a seed does not suddenly appear with roots and shoots. There are critical stages before you see any signs of growth. Seed germination starts with imbibition when the seed is planted and takes in water from the soil. It is this process which triggers root growth to allow the seed to take up more water. At this stage, the shoots develop and grow towards the sun above ground. After the shoots appear, leaves will quickly form, allowing the plant to harvest energy from the sun. That process can take a longer or shorter time, depending on the expected plant. So, it is with your project, business, or assignment. Time and the right conditions are what is needed here.

Steps to growth

  1. You need to get rid of the stones that will be thrown by those who don’t ‘get your vision.’ 
  2. Fast to ensure the weeds die, ask for the spirit of discernment to identify those who could throw you off course. 
  3. Water liberally with prayer
  4. Feed yourself with the word of God every day. 
  5. Let the sunshine in, i.e., the fruit of the spirit

Above all praise God, at all the times for his mercies endureth forever!! AMEN!

About the author

Minister Madge Obaseki is a Church Consultant, facilitator, author and host of the Healthy Church Growth Show Podcast.