In the Lord’s Vineyards with Mark Hart

Mark Hart tells a story of a vineyard.  Perhaps, you have already heard it. He recently repeated it at the Mid Atlantic Congress and I am re-sharing it here.

He starts the story by recounting the setting.  He claims that it occurred during a visit to the Holy Land.  He clarifies that location as Napa Valley, California.

Mark is on a tour of wine country. While being there, he assumes a “when in Rome” attitude and samples some of the local product.  It is available through free tastings from each vineyard. Mark likes free.  Mark like wine.  It is a fine example of a win-win situation.

At one magnificently picturesque setting, he watches a grape-picker complete his day and come in from the fields.  Amazed, Mark watches as that same grape-picker assumes a new role. He moves inside to become a sample pourer inside the winery.

Mark boldly goes up to the grape-picker / wine pourer. Mark wonders how he can make a transition from one long difficult task into yet another.  He is surprised to meet not an overworked underappreciated employee but the owner of the vineyard.

The owner tells Mark that it is all about perspective.  The owner does not perceive himself as a grape picker, nor as a wine pourer / sommelier.  No, he is a wine maker.

What spoke to me from the story is the reminder about perspective.  I am not just a wrangler of second graders in sacramental prep. (which is like herding kittens.) I am not just the staff member sitting on yet another meeting. I am not just a developer and distributor of catechetical content via monthly family activity booklets, weekly catechist e-mails, and the occasional blog post. I am not just the recruiter and escort for conferences, leadership trainings, work camps, and other youth “big events.”

I am not a grape picker.

I am one who collaborates with the Lord in fulling his commission to make disciples.

I am a disciple-maker.

Thanks, Mark.  Pass the bottle.

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.


D. Scott Miller


D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.



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