Monday, August 4, 2014

Need Leaders?...Pray.

So lately I've found myself once again in a very familiar place.  Recognizing the job before me is way bigger than what I can handle on my own.  I love building teams, especially teams that have a blast working together to move the mission and message of Jesus forward.  I just love it!  But truth be told, at the beginning of any new challenge or work, is that YIKES moment of realizing that what lies ahead is way bigger than me...and that I'm going to need lots and lots of leaders.

I used to really freak out about this.  I'd see the number of leaders it was going to take to pull off our weekly children's ministry, or an Easter event, or baptism party, you name it, if it was bigger than me, I was semi-freaking out.  I think that freak out moment came out of a sense of self-reliance rather than trust and reliance on God.  Apparently I have control and trust issues...but who doesn't at some level.

Several years ago I came across Matthew 9:35-38 and that's where things began to change for me, where my faith became more reliant upon God rather than myself.

35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness.36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Jesus looks sees the crowds, he sees the great need, he see's that their need stems from the fact they don't have leaders pointing the way to God and towards hope.  He has compassion on the people, he's cut to the heart about the leadership vacuum he encounters.  So he turns to his disciples saying exactly what I've heard time and time again "hey, this job of helping people find hope in Me is way bigger than you"

You can read this passage "the harvest is great, but the workers are few" as if Jesus is telling his disciples look at how hopeless this situation is.  There's only ever going to be a few workers, get used to that because it's always going to be that way, or look at how great you are, you are the few, the proud, the disciples.

But I think that's totally missing Jesus' point.  He's telling his disciples it is NOT right that the workers are few!  He says, look at what I'm seeing, don't you see, this is NOT right.  How do I know that?  Because Jesus immediately follows his observational fact with an action statement.  The harvest is great, the workers are few...

So, here's what you do, here's the action you take:  you PRAY.  

And you don't just pray to anyone but you pray to the Lord of the harvest, you pray to the One who is in charge of the harvest, you pray to the Creator of the harvest, you pray to the One who cares way more about the harvest than you ever will or could, you pray to the One who came to seek and save the harvest.

And you don't just pray that God does something about it, you specifically pray that God would send leaders.  And you know what?  He really does answer this prayer, in my experience, every single time...because it's His harvest and he cares more than anyone.  It's an amazing blessing to watch this prayer get answered as a new leader steps up.

The most exciting part is knowing that each time we pray for leaders, God sends leaders or opens our eyes to leaders that are already there and have yet to be utilized.  Then as that volunteer leader get's in the game, God begins to send more harvest because we're ready to receive it.  

Then on a personal level, each time a prayer for leaders is answered, I'm reminded once again that the work of the harvest is way bigger than me, I trust less on me, and more on God...and my faith grows.  

I hope to never stop being amazed each time this prayer is answered...but at the same time I hope to get to the place where I never have to have a freak out moment because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will send or show me every leader we may need...because why wouldn't He?

So, need leaders?  PRAY.

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