This summer, my wife and I met one of our longstanding goals – we bought a house. Technically we were already homeowners since we owned a town-home. But our town-home lacked three basic things we really wanted. You can probably guess the three missing pieces, but if not, here you go: space, storage, and a yard.
Space and storage are nice, but in this phase of our lives the most important consideration for us was to get a place with a yard. We have two kids under five and needed a place for them to run, play ball, and most importantly – expend their vast amounts of energy. Sure enough, we got our yard. And our yard is the reason I’m writing this post. You see, I’m going to make a very compelling argument about why you need to hire a lawn service. I did.
And here’s why:
1) I want more time to spend with my family. Yes, I do have the innate carnal male desire to cut grass, dig holes and chop down trees. But both my wife and I work full time. Having a yard care service gives us time on the weekends to take family trips, have hobbies, or just spend a whole lot of time with our kids.
2) Ok…I’m going to be a little superficial…I want a great looking yard. The guys I’ve hired are professionals. I don’t have to think about how many pounds of 30/29/13 fertilizer I need to apply to every square foot of my grass. I don’t have to worry about pre or post emergent, aeration, or mixing oil with gas. The guys I’ve hired know what they’re doing and do a great job. In other words, I get a great product and expert advice based on years of experience.
3) Cost. Before making the decision, I talked to a lot a people and they all said the same thing: You either come out even or save money if you use a lawn care service. A little disclaimer – I’m not talking about mowing with the cost example – just fertilizing. By the time you buy the fertilizer treatments and equipment, pay for the gas to haul it to your home so you can spend your time applying it…well…you get the point. And this assumes you buy the right product and don’t waste money on something you don’t need!
“Great,” you say, “why is this guy writing about lawn care on a student ministry blog.”
Come on – clearly it’s because I’m really trying to convince you that as a student pastor you need to use curriculum. Isn’t that obvious? No? Alright let me explain. When you use curriculum (ahem XP3), you:
1) Have more time to build into the structure and systems for your ministry.
Have more time to train, equip and nurture your small group leaders.
Have more time for your family and yourself.
2) Get a great product.
Get the knowledge and experience of a team of experienced professionals.
(Sorry – Superficial) Let someone else make you look really good.
About that last part – the saving part. Yes, you can write your own curriculum, “for free.” But when you consider everything you get with a curriculum, say for instance XP3, the cost is significantly better than hiring staff (full or part time) to help you produce something similar. And while we’re talking about staffing, what if you hire someone to help logistically manage small groups and train small group leaders instead of hiring someone to produce graphics?
One more thing. Most student pastors have that innate carnal desire to dig into scripture and plant something that grows (write their own teaching material). You might have that desire too and there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, sometimes we all need to roll up our sleeves and do some hard work to satisfy our souls.
But remember – you have the opportunity to develop systems that facilitate relationships that will long outlast any teaching, retreat or programming. These relationships might even outlast your ministry at your current church. They might even extend past your lifetime.
So what are you waiting for?