This article – “A Message for the Workers in the Mission Field” tries to analyze the mission field on the basis of the parable of the farmer who scatters the Seed in Mathew 13.
We live in a completely connected world where modern technology is capable of doing everything and anything we want. The same technology also has helped Mission Organizations to reach out to people in any part of the world without much difficulty.
Nowadays, we see a huge number of missionaries working in different parts of the world to spread the Gospel. In addition, Contemporary Mission Organizations have also employed the latest technologies to reach out to the unreached.
But, despite employing all these technologies, man-power and money, we don’t witness an exponential growth in the number of Bible Believing Christians.
If I put it in Business Language: it means:
The rate of return is far lower than the investment.
When the rate of return is lower; there is a tendency for Mission Organizations to put the blame on the missionaries who are toiling in the field in remote areas of this planet.
However, if we examine this phenomenon dispassionately, we could find that, there is nothing unnatural about it. The Mission field has always been like that and It is going to be like that until Jesus Christ returns.
Here, the problem is not with the missionaries, because, they are not the ones who transform the inner heart of a person; they are not equipped with any magic to convert souls. Converting a soul is the Work of the Holy Spirit and it happens according to God’s Will.
Our goal should be to send farmers to scatter the seed and rest of the work should be left to the Will of God Almighty. He will get things done at HIS pace and in HIS time.
To get more clues about the above-mentioned phenomenon let us study the parable of the Farmer given in Mathew 13.
3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Mathew 13, 3-9)
The farmer went out to sow the seed and as he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, some fell on rocky places, some fell among thorns and finally some fell on good soil and the ones fell on the good soil started producing crops a hundred, sixty or thirty times of what was sown.
Similarly, when a missionary goes into the mission field and scatters the seeds; there is no need to expect all of them to fall on the good soil.
Some seeds will fall into the hearts of people who do not understand it and the evil one will come and snatches them away.
Some seeds will fall into the hearts of people who are willing to listen and accept the message with joy; however, the message does not stay in their hearts for long. When trouble or persecution comes, they give up the message and return to the fallen world from where they have been saved a short while ago.
Again, some seeds will fall into the hearts of people who receive the message with joy and let it grow. However, as time goes, the worries and cares of this world would choke the message inside them and finally they become incapable of producing any fruits for the Kingdom of God.
The fourth category are the seeds that fall on the good soil; (a heart that has been fully prepared to receive the gospel) these are the people who receive the message with joy and live by them. As time goes, they grow and mature and start bearing fruits for the Kingdom of God; they produce a harvest hundred-fold, sixty-fold and thirty-fold.
Here, as a servant of God, as a farmer who scatters the seed, what you need to note is:
Only one fourth of the seeds are expected to fall on the good soil. 75% of them never grow and mature to produce any fruits for the Kingdom of God.
This is the actual reality. Even Jesus knew this very well.
Saints, when you preach the message of Salvation, do not expect all who receive it, to grow into mature believers. Most of those who hear the message will reject it and They really belong to the first three categories.
Sometimes, you might be preaching to a thousand people and not even five will be converted; LORD knows this truth very well and hence you don’t need to blame yourself as if it is your fault.
God did not call you to save souls but only to scatter the seed in the field, therefore commit everything into God’s hand and be at peace with yourself.
Salvation is the Work of the Holy Spirit and you have no role whatsoever in the inner conversion of a heart; it happens according to the will and Purpose of the God Almighty.
Listen to what Apostle Paul says:
6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.(1Corinthians, 3, 6-8)
There are missionaries in the field who sometimes work for years and don’t get even one soul converted. If you are in a similar situation like this, please don’t lose hope.
You have done your part well and the rest is in God’s hand. Frustration and disappointments are the work of the devil and please, don’t give him a foothold in your life. Keep doing what The LORD Almighty has called you to do.
You don’t need to worry whether all seeds you scatter fall on the good soil or not. Jesus Christ has already taught us in HIS Word that, not all the seeds will fall on the good ground and not all of them are going to produce a hundred-fold harvest. Please remember: this is the hard reality of the mission field.
Another point we need to bear in mind is:
Some mission fields can be very barren, similar to a desert. Missionaries need to examine these areas with their spiritual eyes to see the depth of the barrenness in them and they should engage themselves in continual Fasting and Prayer before they set out, so that the ground will be prepared to receive the seeds.
In addition, Mission Organizations and churches associated with them too should get engaged in Fasting and prayer on behalf of these missionaries.
If missionaries move into these areas without adequate prayer and spiritual preparation, it might result in disappointment and frustration. so, prepare well spiritually before you embark on these types of journeys.
We live in a world where everything has been globalized and there is no area in our lives that has not been affected or influenced by globalization; This is true even for Mission Field.
21st century mission field is guided by professional planners and strategists who think and plan like the consultants of multinational corporations. Unfortunately, these strategies and plans do not seem to have any effect in the real mission field where everything revolves around the plan of a single Strategist from another Dimension; HIS name is HOLY SPIRIT.
See, what Jesus reminded us about the real Mission Field:
So, according to Jesus, our strategies and plans will not attract souls into the Kingdom of God; this is the reality and all who go into Mission Fields should bear this in mind.
What Mission Fields require is prayer and not strategies and plans. It does not require strategists and planners but it requires workers who are willing to go on their knees before the Almighty God.
This is the only strategy that will work, that will bear fruits in the Mission Fields. So, let us leave the world and worldly strategies behind and focus on God and His Strategies, so that we could be fruitful for His Kingdom. Amen