This week we have been considering our personal mission field and our witnessing and evangelism potential. It is also important to grasp the truth that, because the church consists of all of the members, each one’s individual effort contributes to the church’s overall corporate evangelism. Are you aware of what strategies your church has in place in its work to lead people to Jesus? You may be able to invite people from your personal mission field to attend church functions and programs. On the other hand, are your church’s evangelism leaders aware of what you are doing in your personal mission field? They may be able to support you through prayer and with specific resources.
Read John 4:37-38. What encouragement can we get from Jesus’ words, “ ‘ “One sows and another reaps” ’ ”? What is He saying there and how have you seen that truth realized in your own experience?
It is very probable that on this occasion Jesus was making reference to the gospel seed sown by Himself, John the Baptist, and the Samaritan woman. The disciples were reaping where others had sown, and the time had indeed arrived where sowers and reapers were rejoicing together.
When Jesus said “ ‘ “One sows and another reaps,’ ” ” He was not saying that, as individuals, we are either sowers or reapers. Although our churches have probably put more emphasis upon the reapers, it is true that, were there no sowers, the reapers would wait in vain for a harvest. We are all called to sow and to reap, and in any local church scene there are many combinations of sowing and reaping activities. It may be that your sowing in your personal mission field will be reaped at a corporate church reaping process. It may also be that the seed that others have sown will be reaped as people come into your personal mission field.
As we consider how each individual contributes to the whole (see 1 Cor. 12:12–27), the farming process reminds us that even before the seed is sown someone else has cleared the ground and ploughed the soil.
Clearly the sowing and reaping are part of a process that continues after a person has joined the body. The harvest must not be left in the fields but gathered into the barn.
How can you be more involved in the sowing and reaping process in your church? In what ways, have you discovered that by working for the salvation of others, your own faith is strengthened? Why do you think that is so?