have had the worst time with my yard this year. It looks awful. I was at a friend’s house. I noticed his yard looked great and I asked him about it. He told me everything he did. We concluded that the one thing he was doing that I am not doing was putting Ironite on my yard.

The next night was small group. Since the group meets at our house, the subject of my grass came up. One guy told me to put Miracle Grow for lawns. Another guy said to dig up a spade full of my yard and check for bugs.

The next night was another small group. (I am in lots of groups; I like groups.) Another guy suggested 16-8-8 fertilizer. I also read online for some advice. One site said to mow the lawn really tall. Another said this was bad advice is if you have Bermuda. I have Bermuda. Another said to make sure the grass was getting plenty of water. Another site warned against over-watering.

Four guys; four different kinds of advice.  Four web sites, four more pieces of advice. What is a guy to do?

The truth is grass is like health is like church growth. It is a matter of balancing various things to get in the zone. Sunshine, but not too much. Water, but not too much. Fertilizer, but not too much.

The core church growth strategy I have taught revolves around hospitality. We found that if we have visitors into our home for an evening of card playing, Diet Coke and coffee cake, 90% of them will join. This compares with about 15% seems to be about average.

But, you have to have visitors. It helps to have good preaching and good music. It is nice to have a location where you get some drive-by traffic and have some visitors. It is nice to have a cool website. It helps if the temperature in the building is not too hot or too cold. It is really helpful if people are, generally speaking, getting along.

The key to church growth? It is like the key to green grass. It is recognizing there is not one key.