Sunday, August 19, 2012

Workers in the Harvest

Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful. The reason there is so little produce stored away was because there were too few workers. Jesus then commanded us to pray for more workers.

  • Is this part of our prayer life?
We are probably praying -- if we pray at all -- for all sorts of things. Needs abound. And God expects us to bring our needs before him. Good things continue to happen. God expects us to give praise and thanksgiving. But do we pray for this? Is what is important to Jesus, important to us?
  • What makes a worker, a "worker"?
Jesus seems to think we need a lot of them. So, does a worker need a BA from a special school? Or does it only require a willingness to work, and a heart for people?

Certainly, at a minimum, a worker needs a heart for people. Motivation counts for a lot in God's kingdom.

Does training count for anything? We can't consider training to be nothing. Training can have a positive impact in all sorts of area: understanding Scripture, how to live God's standards, how to pray, sensitivity to cultural differences and other practical issues. But how much is enough? No amount of training can prepare a person for everything. And we will never be at a point where we will be finished with learning or changing. People probably make mistakes in waiting too long, or going too early all the time. But people seem to side mostly on waiting too long. There is probably a point that Jesus had in mind for being a worker. And it is probably earlier than we normally assume.

One reason it is earlier, is because Jesus never assumed anyone would become a worker alone. Life as a follower of Jesus is always placed into community, into family. Some will just be beginning. Some will have lots of experience, lots of training. And they will labor together -- drawing on each other's strengths and resources. And everyone has resources.

Moreover, as important as training in some areas is, there are some things we need to learn that training cannot touch the essential core. We need to learn faith: dependence on Jesus. We need to learn love: giving to promote the best in people. We need to learn to be strengthened in grace: receiving Jesus' resources which go far beyond our own. It is these heart qualities that impact people and cultures the most.

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