The truths found in this passage can help guide us in carrying out the work of missions:
- There is a Lord of the Harvest.
- All of Jesus’ disciples are to be part of the “sending” and of the “harvesting”.
- His harvest is plentiful.
- Jesus’ disciples are to “pray earnestly” for God to send laborers.
The question is: What are we doing, as Christ’s disciples, about these great truths? God, as Lord of the harvest, has given us his design for bringing in the harvest. (Mt. 28:19-20; Luke 24:47; Mark 16:15) As we pray earnestly we should consider three areas:
I. Our personal relationship with the Lord of the harvest
Our Lord is the source of the authority (Mt. 28:18) and power (Acts 1:8) needed to carry out the mission. If our relationship with Christ is not what it needs to be, we will not go far in accomplishing our mission. If our heart is not right before our Lord, we cannot expect our mission to be successful.
II. Our personal responsibility in the “sending” and the “harvesting”
The mission will be accomplished through sharing the gospel and making disciples, because disciples will naturally reproduce themselves. Yet many churches tend to focus on programs or ministries instead of in making disciples, not realizing that ministries will grow naturally out of the disciples’ desire to love and serve others. If we are not missionally-minded here at home, sharing the gospel and making disciples, we will not be successful in missions.
III. Our personal resolve to complete the mission we were entrusted with
Revelation 5 contains God’s promise that, by his blood, Jesus “ransomed people from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9,10) We also know from Matthew 9 that the harvest is plentiful – according to Revelation, “a great multitude that no one could number.” (Rev. 7:9) This should encourage us greatly to pursue our mission with great resolve.
- Our Lord’s plan (Matthew 28.18-20; Mark 16.15-16; Ro. 10.14-15)
- Our Lord’s promise (John 12.32; Rev. 7.9)
- Our Lord’s prompting (2 Co. 5.14-15; Php. 2.13)
- NEPC supports 15 missionaries overseas, 6 home staff located in the US, and 2 church plants in the US
- Europe – 2; North Africa – 2; Africa – 2; Asia – 3; Latin America – 6
- Church plants in Boston and Columbia
- Home staff provide counseling, training, coaching, etc. to missionaries
- Discouragement – separation from family and friends; lack of contact with other believers; immigration requirements; cost of living increases; slow progress in their ministry
- Sign up for their newsletters and prayer requests
- Pray for them regularly – be aware of their needs
- Encourage them via emails, cards, phone calls, gifts, etc.
- Give to NEPC’s Mission Fund and let the Missions Committee meet the needs of the missionaries as they arise
- Meet the needs of missionaries who are on home assignment
- Help other NEPC members “catch the vision” – host missionaries in your home, your SS class or other group – promote missions (help with bulletin boards, mission events, etc.
- We look for “bridges” to other countries – relationships we have or can develop with missionaries or other believers already there
- We send a small team to explore the possibilities and report back to the Missions Committee
- We prayerfully evaluate the opportunities and identify leaders for the trip being evaluated, including a trip coordinator
- Past mission trips – France, UK, Kenya, Romania, Mexico, Perú, Argentina, Nicaragua
- Future mission trips – Nicaragua and Jamaica
- Currently evaluating – Zambia, Honduras, Bulgaria, Germany
- Work with local missionaries and churches – identify needs in their communities – evangelistic outreach (crusades; Jesus film; home visits)
- Meet physical needs – medical and dental clinics; eyeglass clinic; home outreach; construction
- Meet spiritual needs – prayer ministry; pastors seminars; women seminars – worship/fellowship with believers
- Children’s ministry – VBS; Mission for Soles; orphanages; deaf schools
- Team support – logistics; video/photos; site set-up and packing; crowd flow; runners; serve food…
- Ask God for direction and have a servant’s heart
- Contact Manny Rodriguez at NEPC about possibilities
- Talk with those who have gone before
- Attend mission events
- Begin serving here at home (Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, …)