Missionaries working in Turkey once took me to the place where they believe Paul received his “Macedonian Call,” which Luke recorded in Acts 16. The hill looked out over straits that separated us in Asia from a gray sliver of land over in Europe. Most of us with a European heritage appreciate the westward advance of the gospel. We live in a state that commemorates with a 630’ tall Arch America’s westward advance. And believers in Missouri appreciate that pioneers took the gospel with them.
And that need to advance the gospel is still alive today.
When working with North American Mission Board, I developed what has become an equipping project titled, Workers in the Harvest. WITH is for those who have heard God’s call upon their lives. They, in turn, will not only work in the harvest fields, but they will be used of the Lord to pray out other workers into the harvest fields.
In Luke’s gospel, he noted that Jesus gathered His disciples together and sent them on a mission. They were to go out two-by-two to help the people before telling them that Jesus was on His way. As Jesus looked out over those who were obediently following Him, He was moved to the point that He gave them a missionary command.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2).
Workers in the Harvest. That’s you. That’s me. And that’s people who have yet to be saved.
Jesus fully completed the work that the Father had given Him to do. His parting commands were recorded for us as a reminder today.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Workers in the Harvest. W.I.T.H. “With” is nice. We’re not alone. We are sent out with the Holy Spirit’s power.
Sent out. Who does the sending? Jesus said that He is the one that does the sending.
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).
Again Jesus said, “Peace is with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
The calling and goal of all missionaries is to make disciples. These followers of Jesus then want to be together in a church that constantly reproduces itself. Missionaries want to evangelize, start churches, help members mature, and train church leaders. Whether using confrontational evangelism or ministry projects to convey the gospel relationally, they are both a means to the end of seeing all peoples have a saving relationship with Jesus.
WITH training requires sacrifice, but one that followers of Jesus will find affirming. Church leaders will recognize that missionaries already exist in their midst. Their work should be recognized as a significant ministry in their church. The spiritual gifts that Paul listed in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 all include the missionary (apostolic) gift.
If I can provide this kind of training for individuals or teams in your church, just let me know. My burden of prayer is for 10,000 teams to be called out across Missouri. (Mark Snowden serves Missouri Baptists as Evangelism/Discipleship Strategist (573) 556-0319 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)