James 3:1 says, and I’m paraphrasing here, that not many people should take it upon themselves to be teachers among God’s people, because you’ll be held to a stricter judgment. That scares the willies out of me. Our words matter. Our lives matter. The precious moments we have today, the minutes that pass by, have an eternal weight to them, and we have some hefty, God-sized things that we all need to be about.
Jesus tells us, and this is a very direct message, that the harvest is plentiful, but that the workers are few. There is a deep need for people to step up, to wear the mantle of ministry, and to set their hand to the plow. Jesus used a lot of metaphors, and farming was a regular go-to. Fields are big. I know, that’s a news flash, right? There are thousands and thousands of heads of grain, millions of individual seeds to be plucked up, separated from chaff and then into the barn. This is what farmers do. But a farmer doesn’t do this work all on their own. God didn’t call for us to be Lone Rangers. Instead, we see farmers hire hands. They go out, get people to help bring in the harvest and they share in the reward of the work. This is good, fulfilling work. And yes, it’s hard work, too.
This is the simplicity of the church’s life and work together. The pastor isn’t a Lone Ranger. They shouldn’t be doing everything on their own. If they are, there’s a problem. Either they take too much on themselves (many of us are very guilty of this) or they find themselves in an environment where people expect the pastor to do all the work and assume they get to be consumers rather than participants.
But this isn’t to guilt you if you aren’t serving. It’s an encouragement, because we aren’t meant to do any of this alone, and we also aren’t meant to watch from the sidelines. We all have a work to do for Christ every day. Every man woman and child, the full priesthood of believers. Be encouraged by your part in the good work of the Gospel every day & encourage those who lead and labor among you as you do so…but don’t just leave it there.
Seek wisdom. Pray without ceasing. Ask Jesus what is next in your life.
Church, here’s the news, the nitty gritty: you are a leader. Read that again if you need to, because you need to understand it deep within yourself. Once you were purchased by Christ, you handed over control and gained new purpose. That purpose is to lead people to Him. You are leading. Whether you seek it or not. People watch you. People listen to you. If you are in Christ, then you are His ambassador into their lives, pointing toward reconciliation.
So don’t be scared about leading. Embrace it. Men, women, young adults, teens, kiddos…everybody. Let the rhythm of your life be His grace, and bring that goodness to someone today.
God bless you.