So... what I meant when I said that I would post really soon was... in a month. Sorry. Things have been incredibly busy. Onto the task, though....
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest."
This passage almost didn't make the cut. Believe me, I don't mean that negatively. It just happens that this one seems to be skipped a lot. In fact it's something that we just applied to our church, literally, in the past 6 months.
Think about what Jesus is saying here. (It's pretty critical that I, a church planter, get this) The harvest is plentiful. Boy, it doesn't feel like it sometimes (I can hear my church planting readers shouting "Amen"). But God's word is truth (John 17:17) and what the Lord says is that the harvest is not just possible... it's plentiful. God has called many... from every nation and tongue. That includes where you live and where I live.
But Jesus follows that incredibly hope-filled statement with the somewhat sobering news... "The laborers are few." Why is that? Why are there so few who will work to advance the Kingdom of God? Why is it so rarely that we say.. "Man, that guy or that girl is on fire. They're telling everyone about Jesus!" It seems to me like we believe the second statement a lot more than we believe the first. We so readily put our hope in man. And so we rely more on the few laborers than the plentiful harvest.
But this passage is one of great hope and encouragement. The point is that God will reap the harvest and we can be a part of it. In fact, there is a command in this passage. It's a command that I've neglected.. not even thought about... most of my ministry. What does Jesus prescribe for this harvest vs. laborers problem? Prayer.
Therefore (since we have a shortage of workers for such a great harvest) PRAY! And don't just regularly pray... like "God is great, God is good let us thank him for our food and please send people, Amen." No... pray EARNESTLY. Pray hard. Make an effort at praying to the Lord of the harvest (he's in control of all those waiting to respond) to send out laborers into his harvest. Beautiful. Once again, I am reminded that my hope is in the Lord.
At Cornerstone, we are finally striving to obey this passage. So every first Friday of the month, we have a ministry called 938 (from Matthew 9:38). It's pretty simple. We just meet and pray, earnestly... "Lord please send out laborers.. from us and from our church.. into your harvest."
It's simple, and it's obedience. Oh that He would answer as only He can!