in your own time

sourdough starter

This morning I’ve been pondering sourdough starter as a model for church growth. The process works like this:

  • prepare a warm hospitable place for things to grow
  • stir in the basic ingredients
  • leave it alone for a while
  • check on it after a few days and give it a stir
  • when it has grown sufficiently, use some of it and replenish the rest
  • so long as you keep feeding it, you can give away quite a lot and still have all that you need

Two other observations:

  • at first it seems to take forever for things to get going
  • give it long enough to mature and it grows quickly without losing depth.

Unfortunately, the whole process is much more predictable with bread than with congregations.

The starter itself is now thriving at the rectory. Bring a jar if you want some.

8 thoughts on “in your own time”

  1. I have to tell you that my dough is now rising hearteningly in the bowl (just like yours, I notice), the clingfilm ballooning above it. The starter has been fed and watered and is sitting smugly on the worktop until it is time to return to the fridge. I wonder if it’ll be ready in time for a picnic on the Waverley tomorrow…

  2. Yes, it should be ready. Though the bread I let rise for 24 hours in phase two was much better than the first loaf that only rose for 12.

  3. Sourdough is, to me, a romantic and miffic American thing – I have encountered it only in tales of the pioneers and the west.

    But there is a good dominical precedent for comparing it to churches, after all – and I suspect the slow start is part of it.

  4. How about for individuals?

    I’d be happy to come over and get some, or eat some bread. Wish I could!

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