Month: June 2013

Volunteer Appreciation Message: #JustKeepPlanting

We held our annual volunteer appreciation dinner a few weeks ago on June 7th and I had the privilege to share some words of encouragement based around our theme verse in Luke 8:11. The passage is this:

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

You Said It (Twitter) ADAM Encouragment

I first got the inspiration to look at this passage after attending the Global Leadership Summit in the fall when Bill Hybels shared on The Parable of the Sower. He entitled that talk “The Privilege of Leadership” and I blogged my original notes here. Below is the full passage from Luke and then I will type in my notes that I used for my message.

9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.   

I would like you all here today to think of yourself as if you were the sower. Picture yourself out in a field tossing seeds by your side as you walk up and down the field and as you place yourself in that setting remember the words of our key verse in Luke 8:11. The seed is the word of God. It is because of that verse that I would like us to think of ourselves as the sower today because every week in the classroom you are planting the seed of God into the life of our students.

The key leadership nugget in this story is the example and mentality of the sower as he plants. He gives us a wonderful illustration of how we need to lead our classrooms and our own homes.

Just Keep Planting.

In my own mind as I say the phrase I just gave you I picture Dory repeating, “just keep swimming…just keep swimming.” However, I am switching out swimming for planting in this instance.

I think it is important to remember the phrase “Just Keep Planting” for a few good reasons that the parable tells us, but I also want you to think of the children you see every Sunday.

Do you see that one child who just stares you down as you teach and share every week? The blank stare you see starts to feel like the dirt road in the parable.

How about the child who loves all the activities, games and drama? I am talking about that child who jumps out of their chair to volunteer to act of be the main actor in the skit, but then checks out as soon as you attempt to read from the Bible and make the life application connections. It starts to feel like the seed that fell upon the rock.

We also see those kids who you know get it, they know the answers, they believe it to their core, but then they let their friends either in their class or at home lead them in the wrong direction. We can then see the parallel between them and the seed in the thorns.

As we start to think about the parable and the children we see in the above illustrations this does not sound too encouraging does it? If we actually looked closely at the parable the sower seems to be failing at what he was meant to do.

He has a 75% fail rate.

However, it is in that one stat that I find the most encouraging of messages. I say that because it takes away one nagging leadership question that creeps into my mind.

What if I am not good enough?

The story of the sower helps remove that fear for me. The sower, even in his failing does not give up. He continues to do one thing. He…

Just Keeps Planting, Just Keeps Planting, Just Keeps Planting.

Year after year that is what we do as leaders in Little Peoples, we just keep planting the word of God into every child that walks into our classrooms. That is what excites me about all of us gathered here tonight in this room. Every year we come back together to

Just Keep Planting, Just Keep Planting, Just Keep Planting.

One last note of encouragement. I want you to take a look around at the 200 of us here tonight think about the effect we could have if we all focused on planting the word of God into our children. Think of how many kids would have the opportunity to hear about who God is, why we serve Him, and how only He can change our lives eternally. This opportunity to reach kids is what I love most about our team, the dedication that you have shown to,

Just Keep Planting, Just Keep Planting, Just Keep Planting.

I leave you with this,

Thank you for all your hard work and I hope that you will join ALL of us at Little Peoples next year to