I read in Harvard Business Review that only a few months ago “Covid-19 has ravaged employment in the United States, from temporary furloughs to outright layoffs. Currently, over 4 million Americans have been out of work for six months or more, including an estimated 1.5 million workers in white-collar occupations.” The article sites lack of self-confidence, shame, lack of networking relationships and self-doubt as contributors preventing the unemployed from reengaging in meaningful work. Ok, you say- pastor Doug, we kind of know this. First, let me point out that the number of people is staggering. Second, each person is precious and possibly affecting an entire family. Now, let me shift gears. Brace yourself. In the same way, there are millions of unemployed Christians who have left Jesus’ kingdom work and workforce! They may be injured emotionally, weak, lacking knowledge of the gospel, uninvited to serve in their local church, distressed, disconnected and more. But, as a disciple of Christ, they must fulfill the earthly mission of Jesus which is to make disciples. We must continue to reach out and love a lost and dying world in His name. We’ve got to show up for work! Instead, we are wandering around like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:35-36 NASB
How am I shepherding with love those in my circle of influence? If I were not paid as a minister of the gospel, would I still serve Jesus with fervor?
God, as this day begins- I pray You will inspire people today to fulfill Your mission in the world; to teach, heal every sickness, to be compassionate and to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom. Be our Shepherd. Be my Shepherd. And as a pastor, help me shepherd others. Send workers into the harvest!