Summary: 1. Jesus equated the ministry of the His kingdom with farming in Mark 4:1-20 where He said, "The farmer sows the seed along the path, where the word is sown.

1. Jesus equated the ministry of the His kingdom with farming in Mark 4:1-20 where He said, "The farmer sows the seed along the path, where the word is sown. Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries, riches and pleasures of this life choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it and produce a crop - thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown." The Lord knew that farmers must be wise in determining the best places, times and methods of sowing their seed to get the greatest return for their investments. Resist the temptation to hop from one place to another thinking that you will do a lot of good through frenetic activities.

2. Jesus knew that farmers concentrate on looking after one field at a time rather than flittering from place to place hoping that by haphazardly spreading the seed it would miraculously spring up and yield a harvest. People who are apt to be a "bumblebee" type minister are failing to follow the example of our Lord’s teaching on the principles and practices of wise spiritual farming. Ask the Lord for the ability to remain in one ministry long enough to bear much fruit and so prove to be His disciples.

3. Jesus knew that most godly people are called to dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness through a long-term relationship with a network of local relationships. The Lord knew that people who were willing to remain in one area for a long period of time and establish their roots in a location would be able to see long term fruit. Ask the Lord for the wisdom to overcome the tendency to hop from place to place or person to person without getting beyond superficial relationships. (Psa. 37:3-5)

4. Jesus knew that the ministry of each local church would best be analogized to a farmer who knows the ins and outs of local territory along with its accompanying problems. Even Paul the apostle wrote, "The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops." (2 Tim. 2:2-6) In order to produce disciples we must be willing to work with faithful people over a long period of time to develop them spiritually, socially, mentally, Biblically and in their ministry skills. No one can develop mature leaders without a concentrated training curriculum that allows people to develop uniquely over time. Every local church can best develop its own contextualized curriculum that is relevant, appropriate and suited just for the needs of people. Without a customized farming approach to disciple making, the Great commission of Christ cannot properly be fulfilled. (Matt. 28:18-20)

5. Jesus knew that in order to get a good harvest a godly minister, teacher or disciple-maker must have a sense that whatever is sown that will they also reap. When people are treated as hired hands they are not as productive as if they own their own land and expect to live off the fruits of their labor. (John 10)

6. Jesus knew that farmers are required to trust the Lord for the blessings from heaven in order to enjoy an abundant crop. A "bumblebee" type minister gets lots of temporary excitement by hopping from one ministry to another spreading their teaching. The "bumblebee" type minister rarely worries about the long-term effects of his seed scattering. However, the local farmer carefully guards, nurtures and waters his crops because he knows that it is his responsibility to plant and water, but only God can give the growth.

7. Jesus knew that farmers are best equipped and positioned to guard their crop from thieves, animals and elements that may threaten his harvest fields. The Lord said, "Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers into His harvest fields. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." (Matt. 9:36-38) Bumblebee ministers rarely stay around in any one place long enough to protect, nurture and guard their crops.

8. Jesus knew that success is cumulative with farmers. As they carefully groom, nourish and care for their local soil they will eventually see the fruits of their labor. "Bumblebee" type ministers are not thinking of cumulative results, as they are more concerned about the next opportunity to spread their pollen seeds.

9. Jesus knew that their fruits would best know a man. Farmers are happy to be identified with their products because they are a measure of their identity, roles, and responsibilities. Bumblebee type ministers are more known for their activities than their results of their ministries.

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