6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Challenging every church member to take an active part in the ministries of the church towards church growth. Every member is called by Jesus Christ, coached by the Holy Spirit and commissioned by the Almighty God so there can be enough harvest workers.


An English philosopher Edmund Burke once said ‘Evil triumphs because good men do nothing’

In our text today, we see how Jesus expressed his profound empathy for the lost, the broken hearted, disenfranchised people of the world

as he went around towns and villages and his heart filled with pity for them and likened them to a sheep without a shepherd.

That is why He said the harvest is large but the workers are few to gather it.

There is a computer internet game called “Farmville” where you can plant seed and earn points to buy new seeds by harvesting what you have planted. But when you failed to harvest, you crops get withered. You see, full grown crops if not harvested will end up wasted.

Harvest doesn’t last forever. There is a window of time to harvest crops. If we don’t get there in time, it rots. When harvest time comes,

you have to be ready to go the fields.

In our Scripture text, what Jesus meant when he said “there are great number of people ready to be harvested for the Kingdom” is that all around us… there are broken, bleeding, hurting people, ripped apart and left to die, they are ready to be reached-out if only someone will go to the fields.

Today, what this Scripture text means is that out there at the doorstep of our church, are people who are like lost sheep that needs a shepherd who will lead them towards the flock and into the sheepfold. If they are not taken into the sheepfold, their lives can get ruined, broken and lost. Out there at the doorstep of our church are crops ready to be harvested, and if they are not gathered and put inside the barn they can get withered, rotten, wasted. Lost sheep and wasted harvest signify people outside our church who are ready to be won over into our faith community, but were not so because no one picks up the shepherd’s staff or the harvester’s sickle so to speak.

At Ellinwood Malate Church, here in our church, to challenge and inspire our members to pick up the shepherd’s staff and the harvester’s sickle, I would like us to put an acronym to our church this way: “EVERY MEMBER CALLED.”

Maybe, many of you have already experienced/have already felt, the joy, the privilege, the honor of becoming an answer to the prayer of someone.What our Scripture text is telling you today is that you are an answered prayer. Somebody is praying out there. You are the answer to that somebody’s prayer.

When Jesus our Lord saw the multitude of people who are like lost sheep without a shepherd, He said to his disciples, "The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest…"

The Lord Jesus instructed his disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers for the harvest. Do you think Jesus’ disciples followed what Jesus have asked of them? To pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers? I would like to believe so!!! I believe Jesus’ disciples have prayed! And you are the answer to the disciples’ prayer!!! (Amen!) You are The answered prayer!!! (Amen!)

God is a God of mission. And God is calling all believers to be involved in His Kingdom building. You are the answer to that calling because Every Member Called, Even as in this world, all believers are called by God to proclaim the Good News, set freedom, help the deprived, and announce the dawning of the year of the Lord’s favor to all mankind.

God’s calling requires that we emerge from our religious cocoons and immerse ourselves in the lives of hurting people, to plunge, chest-deep, into morass of human need. Our calling is centered on meeting human need and the unflinching proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Jesus enjoins us to preach the nearness of the Kingdom and address the sufferings of the “lost sheep.”

A story has been told that Jesus went back to heaven after his resurrection and was greeted by the angels. They rejoice and praise Him for His victory over sin and Satan. And then they asked, “Now what, Lord? Who will bring the message of your grace to the world?” Jesus proceeded to tell them about a small group of common men and women – tax collectors, doctors, businessmen, fishermen, farmers, widows, some poor and homeless. He said, “I’ve appointed these people to spread the gospel to others who would spread it still to others.” The angels began to talk about this among themselves. Then one, with a worried look, turned to Jesus, and said, “Lord, what if they fail? What’s your backup plan?” Jesus simply smiled and said, “I have no other plan.”

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