- Know what you’re doing, and be prepared with the proper tools. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a pro - but you have to know what the goals are, what steps need to be taken to achieve the goal, and what effective tools to have at hand, as well as the quality of the tools you will use. If you don’t know God’s word, how effective can you be to show someone else how important it is? Lead by example, and use the tools HE has given us.
- Cover yourself. In the yard I should have not only worn a hat and shoes, but long sleeves and sunscreen. Before you go out to sow seeds among the crowds, make sure you’re covered in prayer.
- Know where you’re going. Even if you can’t foresee the events or the atmosphere, you can have a general idea of where you’re going to be sowing. What I need for the front yard is different than the back...and yet the results (growing grass) will be similar. If I was trying to grow grass in a sandy location I’d need to be prepared differently. I might throw grass seed down on top of snow (I’ve heard that works!) but might not want to do it in a flooding rain.
- Know your soil. Obviously the soil I thought I was going to get, was not what I got! Take time to get to know the soil that you’ll be working with, and as you build relationships with people, refresh your memory as to what kind of soil their hearts may be like by reading the parable of the soils in Mark 4.
- Be willing to be changed. The way my body was changed today is similar to the way our spirits are changed, or our hearts. I might be a little sore today, and MORE sore tomorrow, but the long term investment of gardening all the time would be beneficial to my overall well being. If I spend time sowing spiritual seed on a regular basis, not only will I get better at sowing seed, but it’s going to make me a more fit follower of Christ too!
- You might get burned! I was not prepared when I went in the sun today, and likewise, sometimes we may not be completely prepared to go to the fields. There have been times that I think that someone who has changed, has not really changed; and we get disappointed. Does it mean that we never sow seed again? NO!! But we may want to pay attention to the things earlier on (knowing God’s word, the soil, being covered in prayer, etc) to be ready to face challenging circumstances. It might take stronger tools to get that soil to change, but be willing to keep working on it - or to bring in the pro’s for support!!
- It takes time. Be willing to cultivate relationships...it takes time too!! Chances are the stranger on the street will not be affected with one encounter, but they might; someone else may have been working that ground before you got there!! You’ll have a better chance of making an impact by planning on being there for the long haul - not just haphazardly throwing seed around, or sprinkling the hose here and there. Go back, again, and again!! Nurture these seeds into seedlings, then take care of your lawn! It may need to be weeded, watered, fertilized, and cut - over and over - but it’s worth it to have a grassy spot - or a wonderful friendship with a new believer...