Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.
This time reading through the story I couldn't help but think about how much stock, time, and effort the Church and Christianity at large puts into "planting seeds" or telling people about the good news of the Gospel. This is no doubt something that should be pursued relentlessly by Christ followers. But if this story teaches us anything, isn't it that you can plant the seed (or the good news) in the hearts of people but if the soil (community) they live in is not a rich soil prepared for the seed, it will never grow or temporarily sprout up only to wither and die.
I propose that the Church needs to be spending equal time relentlessly creating a community (rich soil) as we do the spreading and planting seeds in the hearts of people who have yet to hear or accept the good news of the Gospel. In so many ways the Church always does this. But a bible study, Church service, or a quiet time is not really the full extent of community Christ calls us to. No, a rich soil that a seed can take root in, grow, and flourish in is something much more than those things. I am not sure exactly how to describe this sort of rich soil, I am only suggesting that we need to spend equal time creating space and community for people to be invited into as we do planting seeds of the good news in people.