1 Corinthians 3 Lesson

Planting and watering seeds

Picture this hypothetical scenario.  A new Christian gets inspired and wants to spread the Gospel.  They go out into the world and try a few things, but none of them seem to amount to anything.  This new Christian gets discouraged and gives up.

Is this a realistic scenario?  Can this happen with our attempts to spread the Gospel?  Did Jesus experience rejection Himself?

The answer to all three of these questions is yes.

Helping people find their way to Christ is a team effort.  None of us can do it alone.

Perhaps you have heard the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child?”  The same is true in spreading the Gospel. 

Our focus passage today is:

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6-7.

Our role in sharing the Gospel is to plant and water the seeds of faith, realizing that it is God that provides the increase.  As we consider the above scripture, we will look at a hypothetical example of what can happen as we seek to share the Gospel. 


Joe is a man of faith who teaches Bible class at his local church.  There is a student in his class named Christopher.  Christopher is always in class, but Joe wonders if he is making a connection and how much Christopher is really retaining.

Joe understands his role.  He wakes up every Sunday excited to teach the Bible to Christopher and the other students in his class.  As he plants these seeds early in life, he hopes that they will someday grow into mature followers of Christ.


Our hypothetical Bible student Christopher grows up but is not particularly strong in his faith.  In High School Christopher joins the school’s football team where he meets Coach Rick.  Rick is a strong man of faith and he does not hide it.  Before every game and practice he brings the team together for a prayer.  They form a circle, hold hands, and Rick leads them in prayer. 

Christopher likes the feeling that he gets whenever he is around his teammates and especially Coach Rick.  He notices how much Rick loves the players on his team and how he conducts himself.  He does not curse, nor does he allow any cursing from his players.  He takes the time to get to know everybody and is always interested about what is going on in their lives.  Christopher looks up to Coach Rick.  There is something special about him that Christopher respects.  Christopher hopes that someday he can be like Coach Rick.   

The seeds that Joe planted in Bible class many years ago are now being watered by Coach Rick. 


In our hypothetical example, Christopher is now all grown up and has a family of his own.  He does not attend Church and has fallen on hard times.  To try to dull the pain Christopher begins drinking and neglecting his family.  He falls into a deep depression and is feeling like a failure. 

One day while doing some shopping, Christopher runs into an old teammate, Rob.  He had not seen Rob in many years.  Rob asks him how he is doing, and Christopher can hardly make eye contact with him.

Rob sees that Christopher is hurting and offers to buy him a cup of coffee so they can talk about what is going on.  At the end of their talk, Rob invites Christopher to church with him.  Christopher accepts the invitation and goes to church that Sunday with Rob.

Christopher loves being at church with Rob.  It reminds him of the unity he felt when he played football on Coach Rick’s team in High School.  Christopher begins attending church regularly and reading the Bible.  As his faith grows, Christopher is baptized and begins teaching his own Bible class. 

In this hypothetical example:

Joe planted seeds when Christopher was a child.

Coach Rick watered those seeds in High School and Rob watered them again later in life.

Throughout Christopher’s life, God was working behind the scenes to bring people into his life that would help Christopher along the way.  When Christopher was ready, he made the decision to follow Christ. 

God has a plan for all of us.  If we trust in His plan, He will put us to work!  God will give us opportunities to plant our own seeds and to water seeds that were planted by others.  Because it is God supplying the increase, all things are possible!  It all starts with submitting to His plan.  

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.    



I always enjoyed teaching the youth group at church. Through Bible studies, youth trips, etc. we were blessed to plant many seeds. It is so exciting to see them grow up into faithful Christian adults. To God be the glory!