Monday Mornings: Apple Orchards, Ministry and Change

23 Sep

 apple tree

 This weekend we went to an apple orchard. We used to go every single year. In Minnesota, apple orchards are a family fun event. Music, mazes, farm animals, hay rides, brats, apple cider, picture opportunities and, of course, pick your own apples. We did this every year for 15 years. Until one year. . . the teenaged boys turned the perfect day into a free for all in the apple orchard complete with apple war guerilla tactics. That was the year my husband and I looked at each other and agreed- apple orchard visits would be suspended until grandkids arrived.

 don and dienna

We forgot our resolve this year. So Saturday we forced talked our 16 year old- going-on-17 son into going with us. He kept hinting that we really needed a date. (As in you two go alone.) But we persisted and so the three of us found ourselves in Waconia, Minnesota behind a tractor on a wagon headed out to the orchards.


It was one of those days that was perfect. No bees. No mosquitos. Blue sky. Slight breeze. Perfect temperature. And no one threw a single apple. Ok, maybe one.


My husband and son found a way to get the apples from the top of the tree without wrecking the tree.

 tyler and don

We also tried some new apples- Sweet 16 and Zestar.


Before moving to Minnesota 18 years ago, I only remember buying two kinds of apples: Granny Smith and Red Delicious. In Minnesota apple orchards we discovered a multitude of apple varieties. We tried Cortland and Haralson. And Honeycrisp. Need I say any more.


So for years out go-to apple has been Honeycrisp.


This year we expanded. We still bought Honey crisp but also Sweet 16 and Zestar made it into our bags. As much as we love a good Honeycrisp, trying something new made the day a bit more adventurous. (I know we lead a boring life .)


I’ve found ministry can be like this. We have our go-to people. We forget to include others. We have our go-to methods. We forget to try new things. We have our we-always-do-it-this-way mindset. And we miss so much.


What if we tried something new? Maybe it’s time to do some changing in our ministries. Programs need to be freshened up from time to time. New faces need to be added. Creative ideas should be tried. Let’s not end up with Granny Smith and Red Delicious the rest of our ministry lives.



This week is Apple Week on our blog. Check back to find creative, fun object lessons, crafts, games and snacks using apples.


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