What was the difference? This parable explains it all:
King James Version (KJV)
13 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Those little maple trees in the gutter aren’t making it because they don’t have roots (see verse 6). So it is with new Christians if we don’t take the time to disciple them. To get them rooted and grounded in the faith.
For all of you VBS volunteers, AWANA volunteers, Neighborhood Bible Time volunteers, or whatever program you want to call it – -> follow-up with those children. If they made a decision to follow Christ, don’t lose them. Follow-up with them – teach them – train them – help them grow roots… deep, deep roots so they will be firmly planted in the Word of God. Give them a chance to grow, bear fruit, and go out and make other disciples.
Don’t forget the lesson of the Sower or in my case: The Little Maple Trees.