We love meeting people but we’re not so good at remembering names… especially when Joyce and I awaken in the morning and ask one another, “Who are you?” Well, ok… it’s not gotten to that point (yet), but with the thousands of people we meet in our ministry travels it’s just difficult recalling names. There is none so good as our Pastor Tim at Family Bible Church in Arizona when it comes to recalling names. Upon first meeting he’s got your name and other info embedded in his brain forever. I really think he’s hiding an Etch-A-Sketch in there somewhere!
It’s amusing the number of people we meet who voice complaint about being unhappy in their jobs. They’re gifted and skilled individuals across a broad range of careers and occupations. I get it… back when I was in the workaday world I worked at a large air conditioning manufacturer. –Right, a graphic designer by trade working in the air conditioning field. It was while working there I came to know Jesus. (No, Jesus did not work at our corporation.)
As Joyce and I were being discipled we were leading people to Christ and discipling them at the same time as we were being discipled. That’s the way it’s supposed to work…Each One Reach One/Each One Teach One. Amid this journey we became dissatisfied with our jobs because we knew there were people groups waiting to hear the gospel. Our study of the scriptures led us to conclude it was our duty to reach them. We had already set the wheels in motion to go to Bible college and then on to missionary training and language science school. But we couldn’t leave just yet.
The time leading up to when we could pursue equipping was probably one of the hardest waiting times in our lives. I became one of those voicing complaint about being unhappy in my job. “My gosh,” I exclaimed to Joyce “I’m working for a manufacturer who builds air conditioners and all the while people are going to hell. What good is an air conditioner going to be to them there?” I was miserable.
…And I’ll bet there are some of you reading this letter right now who could say, “Yeah, I’m not happy where I’m at or with what I am doing.” Well, ok then… I get it. Like I said, I was there!
I’m meeting more Christians nowadays who are not happy in their jobs. The majority have skills that could assist us in our efforts of declaring Christ among the unreached peoples of the world and establishing thriving churches among them. I actually began praying for God to make such ones, who voice complaint about their jobs, miserable at their jobs. You probably think I’m crazy. Yeah, I know. …But I also know if God wants them, or any believer for that matter, to use their gifts & abilities to impact those with no opportunity to hear of Jesus, then it’s going to be God prompting the heart and motivating such ones to get equipped to go. …And didn’t Jesus tell us to pray for Harvest laborers? Yes. He. Did.
So why all this noise about the need for laborers?
We’ve been on the front line of ministry among unreached people and can tell you the need is great for such ones to hear God’s story and the gospel. Oh wait… there are no front line ministries; it’s all behind enemy lines in Satan’s domain. The only way they will hear God’s story and the gospel is if we do something about it. Many say they are willing to go — just like I took a crowd of people to a restaurant and told them I was willing to buy them a steak dinner, but didn’t. You see, our willingness doesn’t amount to a hill of beans until we do something. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 if we are convinced that Christ died for all then we’re gonna’ do something.
It might be telling a lost family member about Jesus. It might be telling a lost friend, neighbor or a lost coworker about Jesus. …And it might be going to an unengaged people group far beyond our homeland to tell them about Jesus. If we don’t reach the lost, who will?
This is why we make so much noise about the work and this is why we ask you to pray for laborers.