Wednesday: Laborers for the Harvest
avatar

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:36-38). What important message can we take from these verses for ourselves, today, and the task ahead of us?

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

The spiritual harvest overflowed, but harvesters were scarce. Heart soil had been prepared, spiritual seed had been planted; germination, plentiful moisture, and abundant sunshine spurred unbelievable growth. Ripened souls awaited harvesting, but where were the harvesters? Utilizing simple, easily understood word-pictures, Jesus sought to inspire contagious zeal.

Sometimes Christians covet their fellowship with other believers and cluster together, blindly bypassing worldly seekers who are ripened for harvest. Perhaps not realizing their divine accountability for perishing souls, they busy themselves with church engagements, civic responsibilities, building maintenance, and other worthwhile projects dedicated to preserving the status quo. These are doubtless good things. Well-intentioned members sometimes question the value of evangelism or express this sentiment: Pastor, this evangelism stuff is all right, but don’t we need programs for people who are already in church?

This is a fair enough question, though one must also ask, When did Jesus ever lament the shortage of grain preservers? Instead, more harvesters was His prayerful plea.

How can we find the right balance between ministering to the needs of those in the church and at the same time not neglecting outreach?

Share Button

Comments

Wednesday: Laborers for the Harvest — 8 Comments

  1. That's a good question to ask at the latter part of the lesson, the "right balance". Church members will have to be part of the mission to the world in order not to feel neglected.Evangelistic outreach serves as the drug that is only being administered by those who have been themselves healed by those drugs. The balance can be achieved by all members getting involved in evangelistic programs for they will in themselves sort out the needs of the church. The Spirit of God seeks the heart of men who seek to share their faith with the unbeliever.God bless you.

    Like(21)
  2. The scripture mentions Jesus seeing the "multitudes". I believe these were people who were already engaged and heard the message. I think this does include people in our present audience and in our churches. There are so many souls in our midst ready for the harvest that we all tend to ignore. That single mom who only comes to sabbath school, the person who cleans the church, the regular visitor, our family members......

    Like(9)
  3. [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site.]
    Wow! What a great question. How often do we ensure the children's program is set up right, make sure the music is just right, plan our lessons for other members of our church, and forget Christ needs us to go out into the world? Serious food for thought. I am truly blessed to work in a setting where on occasion I am given the opportunity to discuss Jesus unyielding love for us with people that need that hope. Now however, I believe I am going to be more aware of ensuring this is done. We all need to let people know how blessed our lives have been through one thing Gods divine grace. What a great morning lesson.

    Like(2)
  4. Laborers, evangelists, church members, saints waiting for the Lord's return, all have a major task to perform, that is found in Revelation 14: 6-12. The proclamation of the "three angels messages", to warn the world of the impending doom that will culminate in the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus. Also Matt 28:19, ""Go" may we have the same "compassion" for souls as Jesus did. God bless.

    Like(5)
  5. Evangelism and discipleship are not just quickie 28-day programs. Reinforcement and nurturing are continuing needs in the body of Christ. We have to get to the point where even the needy realize "it" isn't all about them - it's about CHRIST. As we mature and come to appreciate more fully the unfathomable love and sacrifice of Christ on the cross, we grow to realize our relationship with Christ is not "WIIFM" (What's In It For Me). We have to nurture the necessity of continuing love for reading the Bible to even have a hope of seeing the heart of our Father and acting on that love for His children. I once was lost, but now I am beginning to see His Amazing Grace. No matter how many words I write, there is not enough time or space to tell all there is to say or show what is in it for each of us, but that doesn't mean we should not begin....

    Like(4)
  6. This was a very good question. I am a Sabbath School teacher for my adult class and at times I find myself asking "Why am I here, "preaching to the choir". I teach or we have more of discussion, but I digress, Then I realize that there are many of us, myself included that have questions or are not clear on somethings. I say this to say that we have to remember that we are all in need of an deeper understanding and experience with our God. So that we who are ready and go teach and tell those outside the church the Good News. The Labors are few, because we have to remember all in the church may still need our help in getting ready to work.

    Like(3)
  7. Sabbath school is supposed to be the driving engine behind the sowing and the harvesting. I have heard people say that Sabbath School is not relevant anymore. I know in a lot of churches, Sabbath School attendance dwindles. My observation is that there seems to be a correlation between the health of the church, Sabbath School, and outreach.

    In Sabbath School We often focus on either personal growth or global mission. Rarely do we focus on the promoting of local mission or personal mission. But this is what Sabbath School is about.

    Global mission is an important aspect of Sabbath School, don't get me wrong! But it is too easy to give a global mission offering and think we have done our bit. Too much focus on personal growth can make us focus inward on our own faults and on others around us. I wonder sometimes whether this can be related to bickering and infighting within the Church.

    I do know this, that a church I was attending had a huge problem with bickering and infighting amongst the members. An evangelistic pastor turned the church from looking inwards to looking outwards. Once the members became in outreach, the bickering and infighting stopped.

    As I said earlier in this post, Sabbath School should be the driving engine behind local mission. It is the training room for equipping people for personal ministry. It provides the broader focus through global mission that we are not alone in what we do. Personal Growth should always be outreach focused. The funny thing is, the Holy Spirit is most effective at changing our hearts when we are focused on helping others.

    Just as importantly, it doesn't matter how Sabbath School is done provided it performs these roles. Sabbath School Teachers are an active force in getting this to happen.

    Like(2)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.