Mangrove (noun) : a tree or shrub that grows in chiefly tropical coastal swamps that are flooded at high tide. Mangroves typically have numerous tangled roots above ground and form dense thickets in the intertidal zone.
Imagine a city, a state, and the world as a mangrove forest. Mangrove (noun) : a tree or shrub that grows in chiefly tropical coastal swamps that are flooded at high tide. Mangroves typically have numerous tangled roots above ground and form dense thickets in the intertidal zone. Have you ever seen a mangrove? If you live in South Florida, chances are you have. If you haven’t, take a look at what a mangrove forest looks like. Take a look at that complex root system.
One tree has roots inter between another tree’s roots. In between these roots, you will also find a vibrant community of fish and aquatic life because the roots offer a safe place for these creatures to live. Mangroves live in a very harsh environment because the tide is always changing.
This intertidal area can be a hard place for any vegetation to grow, but mangroves thrive in the hard area. It is really interesting to think that the fish and animals are living in this protective environment, and they do not care which root belongs to which tree. The roots interconnect to create one protective space. The same goes for the canopy above the trunks of the trees.
The branches of each tree are growing in between other branches. Birds seek this canopy as a safe place to nest, and they also do not care which branch belongs to which tree. There is no sense of territoriality when it comes to a mangrove forest. The trees all serve as one protective space in a harsh environment. Now if you were to look at a cross-section of these roots, you would see something like this: You cannot tell which root belongs to which tree.
But you see that all the roots are spread out and cover most of the area. Fish swim between these roots and are protected as long as they stay within this covered area. Now let’s switch views for a second and take a look at this map of Miami with points as churches, libraries, clubs, parks, and schools: Looking at a map like this can be a bit overwhelming.
But think about the points. They look similar to the mangrove root structure, don’t they? Scattered across an area but offering safe places for life. These are points of safe activity in our city for education, recreation, and community. There may be different icons on the map, but they all serve a purpose to allow human life to flourish in a city. What if we looked at this map like a mangrove forest?
What if we looked at all these points as roots, and drop the notion of which “trees” certain roots may belong to? His Purpose Ministries wants to look at a city like a mangrove forest. To work towards a day where we can look at churches and organizations working together for the common good of a community. To connect the dots. To help churches and organizations move away from a sense of territoriality. To share a common vision. To serve as a catalytic organization that focuses on collaboration.
The Lord designed the mangrove in a beautiful way. Each tree may have a complex design, but trees living together have a beautifully simple design. His Purpose Ministries wants to be able to gather community influencers, leaders, and pastors and look at a city in the same way. Each organization may have a complex design, but working side by side, they offer a simple goal to work together to offer a safe and nurturing community to people to flourish.