Thank God it's Monday
Thank God it's Monday
The Harvest is Ready
A Disheartened Church
A church had invited me to do a seminar on evangelism. It was a big church with several hundred members. A large, but disheartened church. At one meeting one person after another from the church stood up and "witnessed" about how closed the city was to the Gospel, and how uninterested most people seemed.
The church had tried to reach out to new people, they really had. There was certainly no lack of initiative and programmes. From what they shared it was evident that there had been a lot of hard work, but little fruit. They had hardly seen anyone come to Christ in the last few years.
I listened to what they shared. The discouragement seemed sincere. Based on their bad experiences their discouragement was totally understandable. After awhile I decided to ask the Holy Spirit what he thought about the state of the city. Was it as hopeless as it seemed? Did he see something different than what everyone else saw? The Holy Spirit answered by filling me with expectation and excitement: An expectation for what God was going to do in that city and an excitement when thinking about the people that would experience God's love. During the meeting I shared my excitement and expectation. I then began to mention some names I believed the Holy Spirit had reminded me of (sometimes he speaks to me this way, by giving me names of people. He might speak to you differently. The Spirit can speak to us in thousands of ways.)
I called out the names.
Plus a few more - about 15 in all.
Every time I mentioned a name, I noticed that some of the people in the congregation were nodding in confirmation.
Then I said: "These people are the harvest. Let's pray for them." When we were finished praying, I encouraged them to be bold during the next few days. "Share God's love in a way that feels natural to you." In addition I asked them to invite these people to church or to a smaller group in the church.
Many of the people answered yes to the invitations (those who had invited them thought that there were surprisingly many who had answered yes). Several of them received Jesus during the following days. Even more got saved during the weeks and months that followed.
It was all fruit that came from all of us listening to the Holy Spirit and acting on his cues.
The Harvest is Plentiful
In Luke 10 Jesus tells us that "the harvest is great". 18 He does not try to give proof for His claim. He simply states it as a fact. It is not open for discussion. The harvest is great. Jesus does not pray for the harvest in Luke chapter 10. Instead, he prays for the workers who are few. "Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields."
"Great harvest" means "a lot of people." That is how I have always thought of it. But I believe that Jesus is telling us something more when he uses the expression "great harvest."
What is a harvest? A harvest denotes an advanced condition, a later phase in a process. A seed was placed in the ground. It was nourished by sunlight and water. It began to sprout and it slowly moved through the soil, pushing towards the earth's crust. Finally, it stood tall in the field, ripe and ready to be harvested.
It's the same way with a lot of people. They have come so far in their search for God that they are like a ripe harvest. They do not need any more evidence that God exists. They don't need any more tracts, testimonies or a bowl of hot soup on the street. They need someone to notice them, take them seriously and to lead them in the last step of making a decision.
Jesus says that the harvest is great. This means that there are many people who are ready to rec