Think about Jesus’ parable of the farmer. [Mark 4:3-20] The key to fruitfulness is the soil…not the seed. Yet, we in pastoral ministry devote hundreds of our most valuable hours fussing over the seed—while ignoring the soil.

Does that make sense to you?

Look at it again: “Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” [Mark 4:15-20]

Jesus’ directs our attention to the condition of the soil. “Some people are…” he begins. The unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage