A new farmer bought a bushel of seed on the cheap. He’s a city boy by birth and so everything he has learned about planting is from a magazine. Truth be told he really isn’t sure what he is doing but he’s read up on some of the best farmers who get the greatest yield so he’s pretty confident.
He goes about doing what all the expert farmers do…at least he is pretty sure. He scatters his seed along what looks like a good piece of soil. He waters it. He plays Mozart for it. He spreads manure all over it. And does all the other cool stuff farmers do in order to make stuff grow.
This rookie farmer isn’t a bit unsettled for the first couple of weeks after planting, but his doubts turn to elation when all over his field wheat stalks are beginning to sprout. They shoot up even faster than what the books said they would. The growth is exponential. He even goes to the bank and gets a loan for his new Corvette…or tractor…he gets a new tractor because he’s a farmer and not a city boy anymore.
His elation, however, turns to absolute depression….Wait, I don’t want to provide the emotion for you….so I’ll ask. When almost every single bit of his crop is withered away by the hot sun how do you think he responded? Even though he’s got a couple of bundles of wheat here and there, it certainly won’t be enough to pay for his new tractor. He’s broke and busted. No produce this year. So how does he respond?
Is he is thankful for the couple of batches of wheat that survived? Will he plant the exact same way in the exact same place next year because of the handful that made it? If he’s a good farmer who wants a new tractor he certainly will not. He’s going to call the whole thing a loss.
So why in the world do we look at statistics from crusade evangelism and do the exact opposite of the farmer? I’ve read numbers as low as 6% of those who “come forward” are actually in a church the next year. I get that we celebrate along with the angels when one soul comes to repentance. Unlike the farmer, we do celebrate that 6%. But why in the world would we plant there again next year?