A humorous story is told about a Nigerian farmer who was having a hard time getting his stubborn old cow to cross the street. He coaxed her. He cajoled her. He beat her. The old cow refused to move.
A neighbor came along and said, “Hey, could you use some help?” “Sure could,” the farmer responded. “I’m not getting anywhere with this old cow. She is the most stubborn creature I have ever seen. Even when I offer her sweet green grass, she refuses to budge.”
The neighbor smiled and asked the farmer to pull a handful of dry grass for him. The farmer simply shook his head, “What good will that do?” The neighbor just kept smiling as he asked once again for a handful of dry grass.
Reluctantly the farmer pulled some dry grass and handed it to the neighbor, who twisted it into a wad, tucked it under the cow’s tail, and lit a match to it. In no time at all, the bellowing bovine was bouncing across the road.
Do you know anyone like that stubborn old cow? It could be your kids. It could be your boss. It could be someone you know in the church. How can you light a fire under those people and get them moving?
Dan Martella is the administrative pastor for the Paradise Church in California and managing editor of Best Practices for Adventist Ministry