(Quotient Quizes #15) Life is about planting seeds. We don’t always have the opportunity to see the seeds flourish into plants. I was blessed to experience seeing the result of seed-planting recently. (see photo below)
I was at the Valiant Cross Academy which is housed in the old historic Dexter Avenue United Methodist Church in downtown Montgomery. About five years ago two brothers, Anthony and Frederick Brock, came to meet with me and share their vision for a school that would meet a special need in Montgomery to give African American boys a better chance in life. We prayed together. I encouraged them. God opened doors for them to start Valiant Cross Academy. It is one of the most positive and effective educational ministries in Montgomery. Here’s their website – http://www.valiantcross.org/about.
I was speaking at their daily chapel service recently, and the two brothers shared with me a seed I had planted. I had been invited to speak at the state-wide African Methodist Episcopal pastors and lay leaders meeting about 8 years ago. One of the brothers attended that session with his father, and he took a lot of notes. I was not aware of that!
In the course of the conference, I was asked about a servant leadership principle concerning my parking space at Frazer. I simply shared that at Frazer, parking near the church entrances was always at a premium. I suggested the staff not park near the church building on Sundays. I started to park across the Atlanta Highway in the Hobby Lobby parking lot. Our staff followed, and other people followed suit. I didn’t need a private parking space. As a leader I should walk as far as anybody else on Sunday morning, including rainy and cold and hot Sundays.
Anthony Brock heard that. He was the principal of the St. Jude High School in Montgomery at the time, and he decided to put it into practice. There was a private parking spot for him as the school principal. He went back and pulled up the sign and gave that “Principal’s parking space” to a teacher. He thanked me for that lesson.
Frederick then told me about Willie Spears, the new head football coach at Carver High School in Montgomery. He was a friend of the Brock brothers and was very excited about the leadership opportunity to coach the football program, but also teach students about life. Frederick shared with him his experience about the parking place.
Coach Willie Spears took him seriously and went back to Carver High School where he had been given a private parking space. He decided to give up his private parking space as head football coach, and selected a person who served on the janitorial staff for some 20 years and gave that spot to him! He said he wanted to demonstrate servant leadership.
Following that chapel service, Frederick Brock began to tell me about some of the seeds I had planted that had helped make a difference in his life. He remembered when I went every week to speak to the Jeff Davis football team when he played. Every month I still cross paths with some student who played on one of those football teams, and he makes some positive comments about our time together. To be honest, I had no idea that I was planting seeds. I wish I had taken time to plant more seeds!
What kind of seeds are we planting? Jesus tells in Mark 4 about a man who scattered seeds. Some seed fell on hard ground and perished. Some seed fell on soft ground but developed no roots and soon died. Some seed fell on good ground and produced fruit. It is our responsibility to plant the seeds faithfully. We must plant the seeds. God has a way of taking the smallest seeds and turning them into the biggest plants. Robert Lewis Stevenson said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
It’s planting time! What’s your SPQ – Seed-Planting Quotient?