Sometimes keeping it simple ends up to be the most effective strategy, don’t you think. Beans and Jars – a simple little tool for helping people reach their neighbors, coworkers, family, or friends with the love of Jesus. Sounds a little goofy, I know, but it has proven to be a very anointed tool that God gave us to use in our church and then to launch a nationwide ministry. Well, that sounds interesting, tell me more. Alright then. How this simple tool works is you get yourself a mason jar and a bag of beans. That sounds pretty simple. It is. Of course you can use any old jar but we suggest a clear jar so you can see the number of beans growing over time. This is a tool for a small group, bible study, or church. When anyone within your group or church, or book club, or water polo team, shares Jesus with someone, or simply blesses someone by serving them in Jesus name, or does any kind of kingdom work for God in someone else’s life, you place a bean in the jar. A spiritual bean has now been planted in this person’s life. Then you pray for this person in your group and the Holy Spirit will nurture and grow this new bean, er person. We call each of these stories – Bean Stories. I know,clever, right?
It is a thing to behold as the excitement rises in sharing these stories. Everyone starts to get excited about sharing Jesus with those in their own life. Before you know it, you have a very excited group of Jesus followers on mission for Christ. That’s as complicated as it gets. It simply works! People get reached with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Now, how does a nationwide ministry get birthed from this simple tool? Well, God asked us to take Beans and Jars up and down the Mississippi River and visit cities and churches introducing them to this simple little tool. We visited 40 cities and 195 churches from the headwaters of the Mississippi, in Bemidji MN, down to St. Louis MO. We visited 50 churches in St Louis alone. Many pastors and small group leaders started using Beans and Jars in their churches and soon hundreds of bean stories were being shared and people were being reached for Christ. Sometimes simple is best!
We always knew that this ministry, which was wonderful and bore much fruit, would be a part of something a little bigger. We prayed and God answered. That’s when God showed us what we refer to as, The River.