The last few years I have a new found passion for grooming my yard. I think it’s because I can see immediate results. With my work at Lifeway, it sometimes takes months or years to see progress. However, when I cut my grass I get immediate gratification. After work on Friday as I enter my driveway I began to ask myself “do I need to cut the grass today?” Silly question since there has not been a week I have not cut it. But I go through this process of looking at my yard and saying, “It’s not that bad. No one will even notice…” and then I begin to compare my yard to my neighbors. “My grass looks as good as theirs and they aren’t cutting their grass.” In the end I always cut it.
Almost always when I cut my grass, regardless of the condition of my neighbors’ grass, I am glad I did. I feel better about my yard and about me. Accomplishing something I can be proud of makes me feel good. The moral of the story is this: don’t judge yourself or your ministry by your neighbors.
In ministry it can be easy to say, “What we are doing is as good as that church.” Or, “I work as hard as that person.” “I treat my wife/husband as well as…” You get the idea. In reality, who wants to be like everybody else? I want to be a leader not a follower! Andy Stanley says, “to reach people no one else is reaching you have to do something no one else is doing.” So cut your grass first and everyone else will follow. I know my neighbors do.