A Harvest-Sized Vision
Occasionally when I am in a large group of people in public (which happens less often these days), whether in a football stadium, at a shopping centre, or on a plane (remember those?), I will think to myself: ‘I wonder how many of these people know Jesus?’ I don’t mean those who would tick the ‘Christian’ box on the census, but those who are genuine, whole-hearted followers of Jesus.
In these moments of reflection, I am usually reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 10, when he sent out a large band of disciples to proclaim the message of the kingdom (v.11), by saying to them: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (v.2).
“The harvest is plentiful” means there is much work to do and many people far from God; “but the workers are few” means everyone is needed and necessary and must get to work without delay. And to “Ask the Lord of the harvest… to send out workers into his harvest field” reminds us that, ultimately, it is the Lord’s harvest, not ours, and everything depends on his unlimited resources. In other words, we are to recognize the plentiful harvest, we are to go without delay, and we are to pray without reservation. This verse and this command rings with urgency.
However, I wonder if you, like me, find it easy to lose sight of the urgency of this task. I feel the urgency when I’m in public among a large crowd of people, but can easily forget about it during the week or even on a Sunday.
I recently heard a pastor distinguish between a “harvest sized vision” and a “barn-sized vision”. A “barn-sized vision” focuses on the church building, the ‘barn’, being full. It focuses on the size of our auditorium. But a “harvest sized vision” looks beyond the four walls of the church building to the multitudes who do not yet know Jesus. It focuses on the lost people in our community, reflecting the very heart of Jesus (Luke 19:10).
Throughout 2021 so far, our barn has been almost full on Sunday morning’s (within COVID limitations), but the fields are still ripe for harvest. I want to call us as the people of God in our local community, as those who have been sent by Jesus to be his witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8), to have our eyes fixed not on the size of the barn, but on the size of the harvest. Let’s together do what is necessary to be faithful workers in the harvest field of our Lord. Let’s not be content with a full barn on a Sunday, but let’s strive to do whatever we need to do to reach more people and see more people find life, hope and freedom in Jesus.
With you on the journey,