I remember when Richard came to me after stopping by a weekend Young Life camp and seeing us struggle with our sound equipment – “Eric, go by the audio store and make a list of everything you need to make a weekend camp awesome. Music at the games, music in club, a microphone for the speaker, a way to play two songs at once . . . make a list.” So, I did just that. I gave the list to Richard and said, remember, you told me to make a complete “dream” list – so there it is. Richard didn’t even flinch. He said, “Thanks for the information.”
Two weeks later a delivery came to our office. It was everything that was on that list. It was like Christmas! Richard “sold the farm!”
“Selling the farm” can happen in a lot of ways. I take this from the new testament when the bible says this: “It was at this time that Barnabas sold his farm and put the proceeds at the apostles’ disposal.” (Acts 4:36-37)
It was “at this time” that God tapped Richard on the shoulder and inspired him to “sell his farm.” This is how it works . . . whenever you see amazing things going on, it usually means there are a lot of people “selling their farms.
These past few months Marni and I have been humbled by the people that have sold the farms around our lives. The doorbell rings with meals, gift cards, flowers, people offering to run errands, rides for the boys, and the person just coming to sit and be with her. The people that sell the farm do not always have the resources to do it. The key to selling the farm is the heart. Some of the people that have been the most “sold out” are the ones that have the deepest experiences of loss, or, have been the recipients of others selling the farm for them.
God uses people to accomplish his work. The mystery of the Gospel is that “Christ is IN you! Yes, IN YOU!” And with that, comes hope for others! (Colossians 1:27)
God used Barnabas and a plot of land. God used Richard to make weekend camps even more awesome. God has used countless people in the Scofields’ lives since June. God wants to use YOU!
How might God use YOU? How could you “sell the farm?” Here are a few ways I have thought of – but let them ruminate and see what you come up with as well!
- Sell the Farm VISION. Did you ever think that you might help others with your vision and perspective? I remember being a young Area Director and wondering how to pull off a golf tournament. It was Steve’s VISION alongside of me that put me over the edge. It was as if his courage dripped over into my heart.
- Sell the Farm CARE. Every year we would put on a Christmas gathering. As an Area Director I showed up with my Christmas tie and a devotional. Everything else came from others. It was one of the best nights of the year – and it was put on by other’s CARE. The food, the decorations, the music, the thoughtfulness. Leaders always walked away from that night knowing they were cared for.
- Sell the Farm CASH. I remember one summer’s evening when a committee guy came by our summer event at the park. He happened to catch a sound byte of a leader saying they had a kid who could go to camp, but they were short the funds. He pulled out his money clip and peeled off 3 one-hundred dollar bills. “Will this help?” Yes, it helped! The best part of that story was when that girl, 7 years later, married, expecting, and in love with her husband she met at that camp called and said, “Who was that guy? I want to connect and thank him.” Wish I could have been on that phone call!
- Sell the Farm STRATEGY. There was a day when we had an 8500 square foot home that we wanted to have as a leader house and epicenter for ministry. There was a group that met, planned, raised funds, and oversaw this project. They were in construction and development, and they knew what they were doing. I remember one day looking around at the 13 leaders living in the house, the dunk ball court in the back, the newly renovated kitchen and bathrooms, and the game room in the basement. This all happened because of these people “selling the farm.”
What about you? Where have others “sold the farm” to help you in your life? Where have you been nudged to “sell the farm” for others?
I am certainly grateful.
Have a great day!