One of the saddest verses in the Bible is Matthew 9:37, where Jesus told His disciples the world is desperate for hope and healing, but few are willing to go and help. Two thousand years later, the problem persists. The effects of sin are all around us. Evil manifests in unthinkable ways while the Church sits idly on the sidelines.
We make token efforts, shake our heads, and wag our fingers, but still very few go out and spread the truth and love of Christ to our world. There is much anger and violence swirling around us. If we don’t go and tell them good news of Jesus, who will?
Why is it the laborers are few? Why is it few of us feel “called” to share the love of Christ with our friends, neighbors, and co-workers? When Jesus commissioned His disciples to go out into our neighborhoods, cities, and beyond, I don’t recall seeing Him giving any of us a pass (Matthew 28:16-20). If every Christian in history had heeded His commission, the laborers would not be too few. The problem is history is full of a multitude of Christians, but only a small number of true followers of Jesus. There is a stark difference between those who call themselves Christians and those who live their lives as disciples of Christ.
Christians who refuse to carry out the commands of Jesus dilute the labor pool. The laborers are few because not enough are willing to sacrifice their lives for the mission of Jesus. It takes great courage and devotion to spend your days living like Christ. Discipleship means being countercultural, mocked, jeered, persecuted, and in some cases killed. It’s not an attractive job description, which is why it’s not for everyone. Still, for we who commit ourselves to God, this is our reality. We don’t have the option of staying sequestered behind church walls. We must go into the fields of hurting and desperate people.
The laborers are few because the commitment of modern Christians is low. In America, we have approximately 1,650 megachurches. Since a megachurch is considered one having attendance of 2,000 or more each week, this means those attending a megachurch number at least 3.3 million people. Here’s the kicker: megachurches account for only half a percentage point of all churches in America. Even if you use bad math to calculate this, the number of people attending church is huge. We don’t lack for numbers; we lack for commitment.
The potential work force is not small, but the laborers are few. This should be both heartbreaking and embarrassing to every so-called Christian. We have no shortage of able bodies; we suffer from a dearth of broken hearts. We can change this. We can reverse this trend in our generation. We have enough workers to turn the world upside down for Jesus. It’s going to take courage. It’s going to require commitment and perseverance. This won’t be easy, but it’s more than doable. Are you willing to do your part? Are you ready to bring the Kingdom of God to this earth? Let’s join hands and take the love of Christ into the darkness and light up this world. Let it not be said of our generation that the laborers were few.