Tag Archives: teacher

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Harvest Strategies- Planting

Harvest Strategies- Planting

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If we are serious about planting God’s word in people’s hearts, we need strategy. And we should be very serious about the cultivating process if we want to enjoy a great harvest. I see scriptural strategy for the planting process.



Strategies I see in God’s Word for harvest.


Plow the Ground

Plow the ground of our hearts with repentance. Ouch! Is that ever old fashioned thought-repent? But if repentance isn’t part of our ministry, we will be hard hearted and so will the hearers if they do not understand the importance of repentance.

Hosea 10:12 NLT I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’


Sow in Tears

This one isn’t going to make you feel any better either; weep over the children God has placed under your care. I know that kind of concern seems way above our pay scale, especially in a culture that is obsessed with feeling good. Could it be that the real reason we don’t see more results is we don’t really care? Jesus wept over a city because he cared. When we care, we will weep too. If we love them, maybe it’s time to get really radical and passionate about lives being changed. OK I’ll let the verse speak for itself.

Psalm 126:5,6 NKJV Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. 6 He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.


Plant in Faith

Our job is to plant the seed and perhaps even partner with someone else to water the seed, but only God makes it grow

1 Corinthians 3:6 NLT

My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow.


 Get a Partner

Need a partner in ministry. Here’s a verse to pray!

Matthew 9:38 NKJV Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Luke 10:2 NKJV  Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

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Preparing the Soil

Preparing The Soil

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Preparing the soil? What does that have to do with you?

What does that have to do with teacher training? It’s a huge deal when your goal is a harvest and not just planting seeds.

Martha’s dad was a farmer in every sense of the word. He raised sheep and milked cows, but farming was his passion. He plowed the rich Kansas soil behind a mule drawn plough and years later, he plowed with a tractor. It was his livelihood, but it was more. He loved the earth. He turned the soil at the end of the harvest to fertilize the soil. Again, in spring he plowed; turning the soil, breaking the hardness, unearthing and removing the rocks. Then, as necessary, he plowed again until the soil was soft and velvety as it fell through the fingers of his large, leathery hand. The fragrance of the soil was sweet to him. Sometimes, his daughter would spot him across the flat plain crouched at the end of a row with a handful of soil. She knew he was analyzing the soil, smelling and then tasting it. This was his way of deciding which nutrients the soil needed. I am so amazed at the ability of this man. By touching, smelling and even tasting the soil, he knew exactly what he needed to do to enrich and enable the soil to do its job. The soil was important to that wrinkled farmer. He knew it was a vital part of enjoying a bumper crop. Bent and knelling at the end of that row, he developed strategy.

Preparing the Soil

In the parable of the sower

that Jesus shared, the sower used the broadcasting method. The primary problem with this method is the soil where the seed falls.

The seed that falls …

on the hard ground will not grow.

among thorns will choke and die.

So before the farmer plants the seed he must prepare the ground.

What is in the soil that prevents or hinders the growth of the seed? How will the seed grow in the soil where it falls? That is the issue Jesus covered with His story. That is the issue we must cover if we are going to see lives changed and not just seeds planted.


Hosea 10:12 says, “…break up your fallow ground.” Fallow ground is unplowed, hard, overgrown ground. Sometimes the people sitting in your class have not prepared their hearts to receive the seed. Their minds are distracted and overgrown with the weeds and cluttered with cultural trash.

Not everyone of course, some of your students will come prepared and expecting to receive seed that they can cultivate themselves. Even as a little girl, I was one of those people. I came expecting. I needed to hear something that would help me be more like Christ. I wanted to win over my temper. I wanted to be different that the kids at school and I needed help.

Don’t forget you are broadcasting the seed, so how can you be strategic and deliberate? Even in our role as a teacher broadcasting the Word of God, we can have a role in plowing and preparing the soil for the hearer to receive the seed of God’s Word.


Prayer is the prepares the soil.

Intentionally preparing the soil with prayer and worship is like plowing a field. Do more than say a quick profunctory prayer at the beginning. Help them quiet their minds and open their spirits to receive what God has for them. God wants to speak to His people through His Word.

Prepare yourself with prayer.

Pray over your students, by name and generally. Ask God to prepare their hearts. Ask God to give them spiritual understanding and make truth come alive in their hearts. How much are you praying over the soil of their hearts? Preparing the soil is critical, if you want a harvest.


We must deliberately, strategically analyze the soil where we plant the seed.

This is not judging a person, but it is prayerfully and carefully observing your audience?

Are they engaged? Do you see the light turn on in their faces?

Are they engaged in the response time?

What do you need to do to prepare and enrich the soil of their hearts to receive God’s word?


Would you share with us a deliberate strategy that God has given you to help your students prepare their hearts to receive God’s Word?

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More Than a Jar

More Than a Jar- Planting

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More Than a JarJars hold things: coins, buttons, nails, and sometimes pickles. Jars were made to keep them, to keep them from getting scattered or in the case of pickles to preserve them. But the students in your class or not jars…and the seed you bring to your class each week is not for collecting or hoarding. It has another purpose; planting to produce a harvest.

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus explained that the seed was the word of God. A graphic picture, because seed has life in it. That seed has the ability to reproduce itself, when it is planted in good soil. But this seems to be the place that we drift away from the essence of what Jesus was saying. The people in your class are not jars, or seed containers. It’s not enough for them to come to church, collect more seed and go back to life as usual.

I’m not minimizing the power of the seed. The seed of God’s Word is powerful, but it only produces a harvest when it is planted and cultivated in the soil of a person’s heart.

More Than a Jar

I’m not interested in having shelves filled with labeled seeds or chairs with seed containers. We must discover how to plant God’s Word (seed) in people’s hearts, and then nurture that seed or give them the tools to nurture it, if we are going to see life changing results.

More Than a Jar


  1. Pray over the people in your class. Ask God to prepare their hearts. This is really important. Please don’t skip over this suggestion. It’s vital! Vital I say! And that’s not just the spiritual thing to do either! Ask God to drive the truth home by giving them His understanding and revelation by His Spirit.
  2. What do you want to grow? Be specific: Kindness. People that pray. People that worship.
  3. Communicate clearly. Be sure they understand the principle. Be concise. Be sure if fits where they are spiritually, emotionally and developmentally. Can you boil the focus of the service into one brief sentence that they can parrot back to you?
  4. Train them to take notes. Remind them to review their notes when they get home. Pray over their notes.
  5. Review. Make it fun. You can even make it brief, but review. Next week introduce the lesson by reviewing the lesson from the previous week. Consider spending adequate time on one subject to be sure they get it!! Have them parrot the focus back to you frequently during the service so you know they are listening. Be sure they understand the concept, not just the words.
  6. Encourage them to tell someone what they learned.
  7. Give them opportunity to respond to God in prayer.  Encourage them to ask God, “What are you saying to me?”
  8. Use Facebook and your church website to send everyone a review, a concise update or illustration to re-emphasize or illustrate the truth from your class.


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Do you need a personal trainer?

Should You Have a Personal Trainer?

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Do you need a personal trainer?


A personal trainer! I’m not sure who is training whom in this picture! It looks as if the dog thinks he’s the trainer. Just look at that smile on his face.


Have you ever thought of hiring a personal trainer? One hour of watching “The Biggest Loser” leaves me with mixed feeling on the subject. Yet when you look at the results it is clearly obvious the difference a personal trainer can make in an individual’s physical success. Here are some of the benefits of a personal trainer:

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Pack Light- Preparation for Spiritual Journey

Why Should You Pack Light?

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Pack Light- Preparation for Spiritual Journey

I love to travel.

I love the preparation and the anticipation. We have been to some glorious places. We’ve seen the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Hawaii, Mt. McKinley in Alaska, the London Bridge in Arizona and the Sequoia’s in California. We don’t go for the touristy places, we want to explore nature, old landmarks or museums.  I love meeting people and hearing their stories. But basically, I just love to “go”.

I get my love for traveling honest. My grandmother loved to “go” too.  I remember so clearly, my mother would ask Mama ( that’s what we called our grandmother) “Wanna go home with me?” Almost, every time, she would say “let me change my apron”. No preparation needed. She’d find a fresh apron, lay some clean underwear inside her apron, roll it into a tight roll and tuck it under her arm. She’d return to the living room with it tucked under her arm and a smile on her face and say “I’m ready”. That woman should have won a medal for “lightest luggage” or something. That has to have been some kinda record.
I’m not recommending you travel that light, but with the fees airlines are charging these days for luggage we are all packing lighter. I have three suggestions to help you pack lighter.

Pack for where you’re going. Not where you are.

How does a Florida girl make preparation for Alaska?

She doesn’t pack shorts and sleeveless shirts, that’s for sure. I wanted to have clothes that would be warm enough and appropriate for where I was going. It didn’t matter that I was from Florida; I needed clothing that was appropriate for Alaska. I didsome preparation and called a friend that had just returned from Alaska. He knew exactly what I should and should not pack.


1. You gotta know where you’re going.

What do you want to accomplish with your life or ministry? What is your goal? What is God’s goal for your life? What is your passion?

2. Unpack your past.

Unpack fear, pain, offenses and prejudices. Unpack jealousy, the dirty clothes, the scraps of paper and junk that litter the bottom of your suitcase from your last trip.

3. Know what you need.

What skill sets will you need for where you’re going? If you want to write, take a course in writing. Start sharpening your skill sets and your knowledge base for where you are going. It demands preparation.

Hey! Thanks for stopping by.

I’m Pat Holland…

I tell stories- who doesn’t love a good story?

But I tell mine for a reason. I want to equip, empower and energize people just like you to enjoy the riches of God’s life-changing Word. So I use stories about people, sometimes myself,  places I’ve been, and life experiences as a tool to make Bible truths so simple you can walk them out in your everyday life.

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