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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

– Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

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The smell was so strong. It seemed to last for days. My eyes itched and I didn’t want to go near. Then, a short time later, there was green grass. Beautiful, carpet-like, ready-for-play grass.

I remember the garden my parents planted in our backyard. There were rows of sweet corn, carrots, Swiss chard, and lettuce. From this garden, our family of nine was nourished. From this garden, our family learned discipline. Yes, discipline. The garden did not grow by itself. It took work to put it together. Work that included tilling the soil, creating rows for seeds to be planted, watering, removing weeds, and harvesting the fruit of our labor – or in this case it was the vegetables!
There was also manure.

My dad knew that if we used a good fertilizer on our garden, we would have increased success. I’ll never forget the day I learned this. From the bed of my dad’s red Toyota pickup truck emanated the stink of ripe, smelly, stenchy manure. The entire neighborhood was aware of its presence. After Dad piled it on our garden, there seemed to be tons left over. To all of our horror, he spread it over our front yard. Our house was in the center of the block, so you can imagine the visibility and smell distribution.
No surprise to my dad, a few months later we had delicious and plentiful vegetables in the garden. And the front lawn was healthy, green, and lush. The garden fed our family and lessened the food budget considerably. The front yard was perfect for neighborhood relay races.

This year, Stonecroft focuses on investment in strong, healthy Groups. Healthy Groups Grow! So, let’s get healthy! Healthy Groups have increasing numbers of first-time guests and overall attendance, along with a support system in regional volunteer leadership. That means strong outreach! We desire that more and more women hear the Gospel. Your Group is the perfect place for this to happen. Don’t believe for a minute that you can’t do this! God sees your heart for evangelism. So, together, let’s cultivate the best soil for God to grow this garden He calls the Kingdom of God!

Oh, yes, and what about the manure? What uncomfortable, perhaps difficult, activities must we take for Groups to prepare for more first-time guests? Do we continually encourage our planning team members and long-time attendees to invite guests? Is it time to honestly evaluate our planning team? Do we need to assess how hospitable our Group is? Have we invested in Stonecroft Bible Studies Guides so that women have a place to connect? Are our special features filled with strong take-away value that women don’t want to miss?

The work before the harvest can be hard. Sometimes stinky. But our investment today leads to a life change, even thousands of lives changed. The time and energy spent won’t compare to the joy that comes from seeing a woman transformed and, well, bloom.

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Cheryl-DavisCheryl Lee Davis
Vice President of Women’s Connection

Women’s Connection Communiqué


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