Farmers vs. Factory Workers

Pastor Paul Scanlon spoke at our church last Sunday as we concluded a week of special services we called #TogetherNights.

It was great to have him along with Matthew Barnett and Micahn Carter with us to inspire and challenge our church to love Jesus and people more.

Pastor Paul taught on the Crisis of Human Flourishing, a message you can see in its entirety here:


One line that got stuck in my head was, “Good leadership has an agricultural—not industrial/manufacturing—approach to people.”

He went on to describe industrial approach as one that attempts to duplicate and churn out a finished product while the agricultural approach is more organic in nature. It allows the seed to grow and develop on it’s own.

I am guilty of leading people as a factory worker. Trying to get them to be just like me. Attempting to duplicate as opposed to allowing people to grow and develop on their own.

My mind has been racing with the comparisons of having a Farming vs. Factory approach to leadership.

Farming Factory            
Creates healthy growth environments Creates systems for duplication
Organic approach to growth Assembly line approach to produce
Works to maintain healthy soil for future Works for healthy bottom line today
More than a job… it’s a lifestyle 40 hours a week—walk away when finished
Crop grows & develops naturally Product is manufactured using rigid constraints
Farmer’s success is tied to crops Worker is paid when “his job” is done
Crops require sun & storms to grow Controlled environment produces duplicates
Unique crops multiply b/c of seed Exact replicas are produced one at a time

Look, I know it’s not a perfect analogy, but God’s Kingdom, the way we’re to live and lead is much more agricultural than it is industrial.

I’m trying to shift my focus from making people look and act and talk just like me, to one in which people are able to grow and develop because of the healthy environment we’re creating at NWLife.

I want leaders that know how to think, not just what to think.

Leaders that find their own voice as opposed to mimicking mine.

Farmers not factory workers.

Thanks Pastor Paul for the thought. I’m still mulling it over.

One thought on “Farmers vs. Factory Workers

  1. The challenge of how to help people flourish (with all their unique strengths and weaknesses, their desires and calling) is daunting. I suppose that’s why it’s tempting to go assembly line on everybody. God help me be a farmer!

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