“All you need is a preacher with a Bible and a song leader with a hymn book”. I am old enough to have heard that comment a few times in the sixties from people who put a toe in the water of Kingdom of God living but didn’t not jump in the river of responsibilities to “go and teach”, help daily, support, give of what they had to help others, pray and pray with others. We needed workers for the harvest then and we need more people willing to help others find and follow Jesus now. The harvest is greater still because the population is exponentially larger now. The world desperately needs a Savior. Jesus is the One and Only who can save them. The world also needs Jesus as LORD of their lives who gives wisdom (skills for living) and guides us to all that is right and good in the eyes of God.
For the church today, the harvest includes people who are finding Jesus online due to the pandemic conditions that forced people inside their homes for such a time as this. They had nowhere to turn for help but online. Harvest Workers were needed then to welcome people online, friend them socially, pray with them and continually connect them to the Body of Christ called his church in new ways. But the workers were few.
The harvest is even greater still as churches, after the pandemic, are seeing people come back inside churches in person to visit for the first time in their lives. Who will they find holding the doors wide open to welcome them in with smiles and encouragement for their well thought out but scary decision to come? We find we need even more people who know Jesus at the doors, outside the building, in the hallways, some who are ready to teach children and youth with eyes of joy with welcome voices of love and tenderness. We need people to compassionately accept those who are anxious and nervous about coming back, those who have never been to a church but found Jesus online or from heard about Him from a friend. The hearts of people are stirred to grow in their relationship with God. Who will help them on their journey?
The harvest is great but the workers are few.
God-led leaders see the individuals in the crowds. We see the need for Jesus. The world desperately needs a Savior and Jesus is the One and Only who can save them. We have compassion for them because we were once lost but now found. We see the eyes of confusion, helplessness and hopelessness without Christ. We see the lost sheep trying to find their way online, in social media comments, through prayer requests and in person. We see them in our neighborhoods, at the grocery store where we shop and along the paths on our walks. “The harvest is great but the workers are few.”
What do we do? Do what Jesus said, “So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Then ask, is it me, Lord? Am I who You are calling to help in the harvest that is so great? Pray, ask God to break your heart of those things that break His heart and see what happens. Then DO something, anything, everything until you answer the stirring in your heart put there by the Holy Spirit of Jesus who is not only our Savior but our Lord.
The harvest is the responsibility of all who believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. He calls. We answer. He sends us into the fields. He gives us our harvest clothes of humility, gentleness, acceptance, love, mercy, grace, compassion and patience. These are His character traits that grow beyond our human abiity. God equips us with all the right tools to help others know, find and follow Him, too. We are the harvest. We are also the harvest workers.
“The harvest is great but the workers are few”. You can almost hear the sigh of Jesus as he says it in this passage from Matthew. I have done some sighing myself as I recruit teams to serve and connect to people who need Jesus and find there are not enough people to help. Does it have to be that way for God’s church that grows from inside out and outside in? God created ALL people. All people are included and noticed in “His fields”. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
But who will go? Who will help in the harvest of souls? Who are willing to do the sweaty, arduous, consistent, compassionate work of a harvest hand day after day, week after week? That is the question that can only be answered by each one of us as God invites us to the work of helping people find and follow Jesus while developing a strong relationship with God, Himself in the process of growing strong right in the middle of the harvest!
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 9:35-38, NLT
The Need for Workers
35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Abba, Father in Heaven,
You have saved me. You accepted me where I was but you didn’t keep me there. You called then equipped me with each obedient step I took. It’s been a scary, wonderfully exciting adventure with you that I pray others will experience, too. I pray for workers for the harvest, Lord. I pray for hearts to be stirred to help as you stirred my heart to help over the years. I pray for people who know you, love you with all their hearts with a longing to serve you by serving others. Break our hearts of those things that break yours. We are humbled at the thought. May I always be one that follows your call and invitation to work in your harvest no matter what work you give me to do. There is no greater calling than joining you in your work of your salvation for souls. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for saving my soul.
In Jesus Name, Amen