Written by Gerry Blitz
‘“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest fields.”’ – Mat. 9:37-38
Those words are as relevant today as when Jesus spoke them to his disciples almost 2,000 years ago. The need for more workers to bring in the harvest remains. The Lord has called Ten Million for Christ to reach the lost all around us. It’s in our hearts and it’s in our name. How do we do this? We believe we will do it by intentionally gathering men and women who are gifted, called, and passionate about influencing people towards faith in Christ. These individuals will likely remain unknown to the world; they likely won’t travel 500 miles to speak to 500 people, write books, and host radio broadcasts. But in identifying, equipping, and unleashing Local Evangelists who are commissioned to reach the lost and raise up other Local Evangelists, we will launch a movement and set our course to see millions of people brought to faith in Christ in the US, Romania, and Eastern Europe.
Let me share with you a picture of the vision we need to embrace; perhaps it will strike a heart chord with you.
From my house I can look out over the neighboring fields—many acres of rich farmland. In this season, the farmers are preparing the soil to receive the seed. The Amish farmer has spent days upon days taking his team of horses through the fields plowing the dirt. Much time is put into the preparation of his fields. Soon he will plant his selected crop. Throughout the growing season the farmer will tend to his fields. Then one day, he will come to harvest them. To the unfamiliar eye, the crops might not look any different from one day to the next as they ripen. Even so, each day brings seemingly imperceptible change and ushers the harvest one day closer, until the time is right. The untrained eye might not recognize it, but the farmer’s eye sees it. What is the difference between the two? The farmer SEES the harvest! He knows the time is right and he acts with urgency to bring in the harvest. Both eyes see the same fields, but one is looking for the time to act.[i]
Similarly, at the end of Matthew 9, we see Jesus looking out over the crowds that surrounded him. He could see the spiritual harvest ripe all around him. In that setting, he turned to his disciples and instructed them to pray, asking the Father to send more workers into the fields to gather the harvest.
What is the dynamic change in the picture? It’s not the harvest. It was present when Jesus sent out his disciples, as noted in Matthew 10 and Luke 10, and the harvest is still waiting to be brought in today. Jesus did not instruct his disciples to pray for the harvest, to protect it, or increase it. In this way, focusing on the harvest, will actually result in losing it because there won’t be enough workers to bring it in. You see, the harvest wasn’t meant to stay in the fields, it needs to be brought in! Harvest time is an “all hands on deck” time. That is why Jesus challenged them to ask for more laborers who will see the harvest and will work to bring it in.
What’s the special skill of those workers? Vision. Everywhere they look they see the harvest! The checkout line at the grocery store, a sports arena, the local corner gas station. These are not just places where people congregate, it’s where the harvest is. As we go about our daily lives, the people walking past us and standing near us are the harvest!
This change in mindset dramatically impacts how we view the world around us. Do we see people who are apathetic about having a genuine, life-giving relationship with God? Or do we look around and see people who want to be loved (John 3:16; I John 3:1) and want to live (John 10:10; John 17:3) and want their sins forgiven? [ii]
The harvest is there! Do you see it? Do you want to be one of the workers? If so, we invite you to consider joining our team of local evangelists!
On May 1, TMFC will launch a movement of Local Evangelists, starting first in Lake County, Florida, followed by Galati, Romania in August 2020. We are believing that through the work of Local Evangelists, we will see the United States, Romania, and all of Eastern Europe impacted for Christ.
[i] I’d like to credit this understanding of the harvest and labors to Gerry Stoltzfoos and his book “83 Lost Sleep”.
[ii] Thanks to TMFC team member AJ Crawford for stating this so clearly.