Spawning Grounds

Ministry leaders are called to sacrifice for the next generation.

The life of a Chinook salmon can be summed up in a single word: adaptation. Born in the freshwater streams in the upper reaches of mountainous river systems, juvenile salmon spend as little as three months in their birth habitat. Then, some impulse compels the salmon to leave their home and migrate downstream to estuaries, then into the open ocean.

They feed and mature. They swim the sea for two to four years, before instinct drives them homeward. Adults migrate from their marine environment into the exact freshwater streams of their birth in order to mate; spawning once before death. I've heard of salmon disintegrating in the water as they fight upstream towards their birthplace. They are literally falling apart, yet driven towards the spawn site with fierce determination.

Pizza and brick walls

In my first year of full-time ministry, I sat down for lunch with the leader of my past church's men's ministry. The church had been struggling for a while. Much of the trouble ...

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