Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

March 7, 2024

A Pastoral Word. . . Tumbleweeds

Pastor Kevin Freeman

March 7, 2024
Residents of South Jordan, Utah, part of Salt Lake City, awoke after a recent storm to an unexpected sight: tumbleweeds covered their yards! Local news affiliate KSL reports that one resident only saw the tumbleweeds when he opened the garage door that morning. A ten-foot high wall of the thorny bushes cascaded into his garage!

I cannot read a story about tumbleweeds without thinking of our RBC Camp (Vacation Bible School) “Tumbleweed” song, circa 2010. Some of you have likewise been forever marked by that song from that year’s Saddle Ridge Ranch theme. Some of us also struggle with the tumbleweed lifestyle warned about in the song. Consider some of these lyrics:

Don’t be a tumbleweed,
Blowing anywhere the wind may lead.
Plant yourself deep,
In the B-I-B-L-E.
God’s Word can set you free,
From being like that tumbleweed.

That reminds me of some verses in Ephesians about our need to become mature Christians. Paul writes,
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15 NIV).

Immaturity can turn us into Christian tumbleweeds that blow us around. Instead of pursuing growth in Christ, we find ourselves blown around by every situation, such as life events, the latest headlines, or concerns about the future.

I did a bit of research into the tumbleweed. The plant’s name is Russian thistle. This plant grows and develops long green leaves, like tender pine needles, and even tiny flowers, which eventually go to seed. After this, the Russian thistle dries out, and its leaves become prickly. It breaks off at the base once the frost comes, at which point it is susceptible to the wind’s whims.

Christians need not mirror the life cycle of the tumbleweed. We dry out when we stop growing, stop connecting with other believers. Earlier in our passage, Paul explains how believers are equipped in the church. This equipping is
“…for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13 NIV).

We serve to build up the body and help each other both to mature and to prevent ourselves from becoming Christian tumbleweeds.

Where are you serving? Where are you growing?

Let’s give the Tumbleweed song the last word:

Then you will never be,
Blowing round aimlessly,
You will never be like a tumbleweed.

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman

P.S. You can listen to the Tumbleweed song here:
Music: "Tumbleweed" by Jeff Slaughter/Lifeway Kids Worship!
Image attribution: ImperfectTommy  / Edmond Meinfelder, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (
Posted in