In the Parable of the Sower [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.

So, why is it that we devote ourselves to sifting, sorting, cleaning, massaging, and polishing the seed?

Sermon preparation in post-Enlightenment Christendom consumes the largest portion of most Evangelical pastors’ workweeks. When I was in seminary, my preaching professor told me to invest an hour of preparation for every minute in the pulpit. Thirty hours preparation for a thirty-minute message. Imagine that! Thirty of my fifty-five-hour workweek spent away from my people, away from preparing the soil of their hearts, and away from provoking their hunger for God’s Word.

I began to ask myself why pastors give so little attention to tilling the soil of their hearer’s hearts?

Could it be that we’ve forgotten what business we’re in?

Maybe we’ve inadvertently supplanted the make-mature-disciples-who-live-like-Jesus business with the faithfully-proclaim-the-Word-of-God-business. Yes, you and I have been commissioned to faithfully proclaim God’s Word, but we do it so that people around us will live like Jesus.

Don’t we?