The Known and Unknown Sower

Lisa May, Executive Director, Live the Life South Florida

As many of you know, I don’t consider myself a writer, so every month I ask God to show me what He wants me to write about. I always need Him to show me because I don’t have chapters of quality thoughts rolling around in my head. This was particularly true for me this month. He responded with the same message, the Sower of Seeds.


A simple invitation

Live the Life South Florida hosted our Happy & Together Hoedown this past weekend, and at the end of the evening, someone spoke up about the number of people the ministry had impacted. A friend spoke up and said, none of us would be here tonight had Vikki Langer not gathered a group of couples to experience the Hope Weekend. Another spoke up and said, Vikki Langer wouldn’t be here if someone else hadn’t called her and said, you need to meet with the executive director of this ministry. So, one woman scattered seeds and called Vikki. She spread seeds by inviting eight couples to their home for a HOPE Weekend. Those seeds grew into a tree with more than 40,000 impacted by biblically based relationship education in seven years. Sounds like the parable of the Sower.

Vikki and Bernhard Langer

The following afternoon I attended the Honda Classic, and another golfing couple commented on the recent accomplishment of Bernhard Langers’ 45th victory for the PGA Tour Champions, tying with World Golf Hall of Famer, Hale Irwin. They had attended the same Bible study where the Langers accepted Christ. Today, Bernhard and Vikki are among the most authentic and disciplined couples of faith I know. Both are open and bold about a relationship with Jesus Christ to the point that following the Chubb Classic victory, Golf Digest wrote, “Langer, a Christian, took comfort from a Bible verse from Proverbs 3, one he wrote down and carried with him all day Sunday, “to encourage me,” he said. “It says, ‘I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge him, and he will make my path straight,’ and my path was pretty straight today and this whole week.”

The Bible study leader and the woman who reached out to Vikki about Live the Life South Florida would be Unknown Sowers, that seeded spiritual family trees.


A voice over the airways

What about Ann and Dr. D. James Kennedy? Kennedy, the founder of Evangelism Explosion (EE), a lay-witnessing method, became a Christian in 1953 after hearing a radio preacher present the gospel, which Kennedy later said he had never heard up to that point.

Dr. D. James Kennedy and Anne Kennedy

Kennedy shared that his radio alarm woke him to the voice of a preacher saying, “Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and He was to ask you, ‘What right do you have to enter into My heaven?’ — what would you say?” Kennedy subsequently accepted Christ. In 2021, 14 million accepted Christ using the EE method of evangelism. The Kennedys would be Known Sowers. The radio preacher would be an Unknown Sower that seeded spiritual family trees.


A Sunday school volunteer

What about Ruth and the Rev. Billy Graham? Billy Graham proclaimed the gospel to more than 2.2 billion people.  Again, a Known Sower. Who was the unknown in this story? A Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball. Edward Kimball intentionally ensured the boys in his Sunday school class understood the offer of salvation through Jesus. He was particularly concerned about one young man and went to the shoe store where he worked on a Saturday afternoon. He shared the message of Jesus in the stockroom, and the young man accepted Christ. That was Dwight L. Moody. The story doesn’t end there. That’s where it begins. Moody converted Wilbur Chapman, Chapman converted Billy Sunday, followed by Mordecai Ham, who was preaching in Charlotte, N.C., where Billy Graham accepted Christ, the evangelist who preached to more people than any other person, including the Apostle Paul. Billy Graham’s spiritual family tree is traced to an Unknown Sower, Edward Kimball, an Unknown Sunday school teacher.

Bernhard and Vikki Langer’s spiritual family tree is traced to an unknown Bible study leader.

James Kennedy’s spiritual family tree is traced to an unknown radio preacher.


The Rev. Billy Graham and Ruth Graham – Photo Courtesy: Billy Graham Evangelist Association

Bearing fruit

All have born eternal fruit beyond our comprehension on this side of heaven. The seed represents the gospel, the sower represents anyone who proclaims it, and the various soils represent people’s responses to it. The Grahams, Langers, and Kennedys are all known Sowers who responded to a message from Unknown Sowers. What does one have to do with the other? God sees all. The Unknown and Known Sower is equally significant to Jesus. The known wouldn’t be known without the unknown.

Craig Denison from First 15 wrote: “God’s grace is meant to be our catalyst to living passionate lives that bear fruit of eternal value. You aren’t meant to go through the motions. You weren’t created to live a normal life whose impact only lasts for this life. God, in his grace and love has called you to more. You were made for a life of deep and lasting impact. You were made to share God’s heart with the world.”

Kennedy said that he earned the Ph.D. degree “to dispel the idea there is an inconsistency between evangelism and education… evangelical ministers [need] to be thoroughly educated and equipped to meet on equal terms anyone they come into contact with.” Live the Life exists to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education. We are committed to teaching others where education and theology intersect with the “how” of living out the first and second commandments.

What will you do to sow into the lives of those God has entrusted to you?


“Faith makes all things possible… Love makes all things easy.” – Dwight L. Moody

Live the Life South Florida exists to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education, beginning in middle school through senior adults. We are educators, coaches, and pastoral counselors. If you’re looking for a clinical counselor or therapist, we are blessed to have many in the South Florida community.  We’d be honored to provide you a list of highly qualified and reputable individuals. Visit

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