If we’re honest, much of short-term missions is about harvesting. The unsettled urgency to ‘win souls,’ and the expenditures towards that end drive the reaping, plucking, and gathering of ‘fruit.’ In many cases that fruit is considered to be the canny but hesitant confessions of unripened and uncultivated hearts, or the hastily repeated prayers of an accommodating people.
When did inducing the labor of preemies become the norm in mission?
In Jeremiah 4:3, The Lord says;
“Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns.”
Plowing is to be done corporately by the people of God with people who are not yet of God. Plowing is a family affair. There are planters and waterers in abundance and they have their rewards, but where are the plowers?
Plowing isn’t glamorous, there’s little recognition to be had in it, and it’s just plain hard work. It is most strenuous and the most unyielding stage in the harvest process. There’s nothing do show for your efforts except overturned dirt. Who remembers the work of one who plows?
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The harvesting component of the gospel dominates the plowing gospel’s space.[/inlinetweet]
Many times, people will say to a mission’s coordinator, “Put Us to work!” or “We’re not afraid of getting our hands dirty,” or even “We’ll do whatever it takes to be of service in your context,” but the hard word of plowing rarely enters into the picture. Could you imagine the look on the faces of a locally sponsored church mission that reported, ” We plowed up much fallow ground and prepared the way for others to seed, weed, and water?” Can you sense the tension of the impending question;
“Umm, that’s great, but how many souls were saved?”
“Where are the sharecroppers? Where are the cultivators of love? Where are the plowers of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
A few questions;
What if your next short-term mission trip dedicated itself fully to plowing?
What would that look like?
How would you muster support for this mundanely perceived aspect of mission?