Sunday, April 10

20 reasons why we don't see harvest

Felicity Dale shares 15 reasons why we don't see harvest. I have taken the liberty of modifying her original list to reflect our Ecuadorian context, and added a few reasons of our own to the list...

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1. We spend so much time with other believers we don't have time to invest in the lives of those who do not know Jesus.

2. We are afraid of being contaminated by having too much contact with the world.

3. We understand evangelism as a series of events that is carried out on as part of the church calendar rather than the life style of every believer.

4. We pray for many things, but little for lost souls.

5. We don't importune the Lord of the Harvest for laborers.

6. There is little emphasis on training workers to engage in the harvest.

7. Leaders who believe the Great Commission means growing their own church.

8. The belief that "making disciples" means preaching the Gospel and waitng for God to do the work he assigned to us.

9. Fishing in waters where the fish aren't biting, or to change the metaphor...looking to harvest in ground that hasn't been prepared, or where little seed has been planted.

10. Inviting people to come to our church instead of starting new gatherings in the places where they live.

11. Extracting new believers from their communities and spheres of influence and grafting them into our own circles.

12. When we evangelize, we do so haphazardly with whomever, rather than seeking out key "people of peace" as Jesus commanded in Luke 10.

13. We love our own kingdoms more than His Kingdom.

14. Lack of evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ministry.

15. Insisting we work sequentially (pray, plan, procliam, win, teach, baptize, disciple, train, minister...)

16. Connecting everything to the four walls of the church building.

17. Churches keeping 95% or more of their resources for their own local use instead of investing in making disciples of the nations.

18. Leaders who believe filling church pews is the goal, rather than mobilzing believers to the harvest fields.

19. Waiting for someone else to do it. And when nobody else does anything criticize others for their lack of committment with the Lord.

20. Using the excuse that I haven't been called to do that, or the Holy Spirit hasn't given me the kinds of gifts needed to work in the harvest fields.

7 comments:

Aussie John said...

Guy,

You and she have certainly hit the bull's eye with this list. I recognized every one of these points in the denominational scene I was once in.

The difficulty is that they see many of these as strengths, and as a consequence reject any challenge.

Sola tradition is a real life Medusa, whose many heads you and Felicity describe.

GuyMuse said...

John,

That these are seen as strengths indeed describes the difficulty in overcoming this kind of mind set. A lot can be accomplished even with this mind set, but oh, how so much more if we ever really understood that a lot of the time we are living under a false illusion.

BParsons said...

With fear and trembling I add that our "Second Coming" views have hindered the Gospel. I believe that Jesus is coming back, but for many years of my life I've been living in the "victim mentality" that the world must get worse and worse before Jesus can come back, that somehow, Christianity must become scarce, and things just need to get worse and worse.

When I quit worrying about these things, I can have the same outlook of the New Testament believers, who thought Jesus might return in their own time.

Nothing should keep us from the mind set that churches can multiply, that the growth of disciples can out-pace the growth of population, that whole nations can come to the Lord, that the earth can be filled with God's glory, and that billions can come to Christ.

It has been liberating to my prayer life to see this. I once thought that if I prayed for such things, I was somehow praying against the Second Coming.

I've been re-reading the song, "We've a Story to Tell to the Nations," and I want that mind set.

GuyMuse said...

Bruce,

I think you bring out an excellent point. I hadn't given it much thought, but agree that our views on the end times have also have a huge impact on why we don't see harvest. If one believes the end is sometime way in the future, there will be little urgency to the task of rescueing souls. But if one truly believes Jesus could come tomorrow, there is an intensified all-out-effort to save as many as possible in what little time remains.

Felicity Dale said...

Guy, I appreciate your extra points. They are very true! I also find Bruce's comments on the difference our end-time views make very interesting, and very revealing. It's not an area I've thought about much, but if we believe things are only going to get worse, and the church will barely make it, it changes our attitude to people. On the other hand, if we believe that Christ has triumphed, that becomes more good news. And our sense of urgency does increase if we believe the end is near.

GuyMuse said...

Felicity,

My missionary dad's doctoral disertation was entitled something akin to "Why my end-time views make me a better missionary." His point was if we really believe the end is near, we are much more passionate, urgent, and intentional in what it is we do on a day-to-day basis. We too believe we are in the last days and feel the urgency to be about our tasks not knowing how many days we have left.

dondavis said...

Hi Guy!
You and Felicity have hit the mark on this one. I am going to repost this on my blog as well. Many need to read this.
God Bless!
Don