Monday, March 16, 2009

Knocking Over Ant Hills

This afternoon I slipped out of the office about an hour early to take advantage of a sunny day after a long rainy weekend and to catch up on some much needed yard work. I reasoned that I could write this blog and work on the weekend message after the sun went down – I could only mow the lawn while the sun was shining.

So for a few hours I edged and mowed and did a little weeding (some of my best “thinking time” comes while engaged in these tasks). Then after a quick trip to Home Depot I spread some mulch and fertilized the lawn. Over the last few years I’ve come to appreciate the benefit of using fertilizer that contains something for fire ant control. Preventing fire ants in Houston takes some work and I’ve found that treating the entire yard is a great first step.

Still there are times that in spite of my best efforts I end up with a fire ant mound and then the only option is to knock over the ant hill.

When ant hills get knocked over the result is always a swarm of activity (the ants go crazy) and sometimes you even get a few bites – but if you want a nice lawn (and one that is free of fire ants) you have to be willing to knock over an occasional ant hill.

It’s a good analogy for leadership, especially in the church. Sometimes there are “ant hills” that simply have to be knocked over. They almost always come with a flurry of swarming “ants” and even a few “bites.” So it’s often tempting to leave the “ants” alone and avoid the activity and the bites – but left alone they only grow and can ultimately take over.

To paraphrase Craig Groeschel:

If we aren’t willing to endure a few bites then we run the risk of letting certain “ant hills” hold God's mission for the church hostage.

What are the “ant hills” you are facing in leadership? How are they holding you hostage? Isn’t it worth enduring the swarm of activity and a few bites for the overall health of the organization?

What would happen if you knocked the ant hill over?


  1. Well said. We are all going to knock over a few ant hills if we want to be a part of God's plan for the church in the 21st Century. Not easy but necessary.

  2. Beware those who kick over ant hills just to watch them scurry. Also tends to create more hills.