In 1984 these words reverberated in the mind of my pastor, Reverend Scott McManus. Elders, who knew about the struggles of previous ministers who had attempted planting an apostolic church in this city, figuratively referred to Greenville as a burnt over field. Although these gentlemen meant well with their warning to the twenty-eight year old preacher, Scott McManus saw this burnt field as an opportunity for fresh growth.
The doubters didn't realize burnt fields have many agricultural (and spiritual) advantages. For example, the intense heat from burning often removes crop residue, plant disease, pesky insects and weeds--all of which can hinder new growth. After a field is burned, the soil is better prepared to sprout seedlings because the deterrents to growth were consumed by the fire.
In comparing the gathering in of souls to harvesting a crop, were previous efforts by the pioneering ministers fruitless? I don't think so. Working the field is a process.
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:6