Lessons from the Lawn

Commander Bill Gunter —  September 14, 2010

A few years ago I moved into a new development. So new that when I moved in, the grass had not yet been planted. Being a home owner for the first time, I now needed to care for the lawn. Suddenly the parable of the seed falling on good soil had a whole new meaning. But that wasn’t the only lesson I’ve learned from my lawn, there are several.

1) It’s true, the grass is always greener on the other side. I look at my neighbor’s yard across the street, who moved in the same weekend I did, and his yard looked good compared to mine. It is the same way in ministry sometimes, being bi-vocational, I often wish I had the time others have who are in full-time ministry. I need to be content with where God has placed me at this time and not look at others’ ministry. You see, as I look at another’s lawn, when you look close, you see that it has imperfections that you may not see from a distance, and so do others’ ministries. There are no “perfect” ministries or opportunities, the only perfect one is the one where God would have you serve.

2) A good looking lawn needs a lot of attention. I have used a lot of fertilizer, grass seed and water to get my lawn healthy. If the lawn is neglected, weeds grow, and grass dies. In ministry, and our personal lives, we need to keep in the Word, in prayer, and working on our relationship with God. If we neglect that, “weeds” will grow and the lawn (our ministry) will suffer.

3) Lawns, like people, are fragile. This summer was especially hot and dry. Even good lawns suffered, and some of the grass fell away. Though I watered and fertilized as much as I could, some patches still died. As sad as it is, there will be some in our ministry who will fall away when times get hard. Not all will come to know Jesus. As much as that hurts, we must be faithful in caring for the “lawns” (people) that God has placed in our care. Put down more seed and care for it, and watch the new seed grow.

So I will continue to work on my lawn, just as I will work on my ministry and relationship with Jesus. It may not be perfect, but I will strive to make it pleasing to God.

These are just a few of the lessons learned from the lawn.

Commander Bill Gunter

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Bill is the Associate Pastor of Children & Youth at Hanover Fellowship in Hanover, Pennsylvania where his responsibilities include caring for children and youth from birth through high school. Along with his responsibilities in the local church, Bill is very involved in the Awana ministry, serving on the ministry teams of local Awana missionaries, providing trainings, leading workshops and helping run regional events.

3 responses to Lessons from the Lawn

  1. I love this analogy. I would like to add one thing from what I learned when I had to take care of my yard. I hired a company to come and do weed control.In ministry sometimes we need to ask for help for something that we are fully capable of doing. I could do weed control, but I knew that I could rely on this company to do an even better job. It was worth my investment.

  2. Good lessons. Thanks for this!

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