From late July through August, the rumble of diesel engines is beginning its circuit from Texas to North Dakota as the bread basket of the Midwest yields its harvest. If you have never seen them, the combines are a sight to behold. Ideally suited to the plains, whether the high plains of Colorado or the Mississippi floodplains, these massive machines crawl across a field, turning a standing crop into a mound of golden grain. And with every foot of ground they cover, more of the crop is safely brought in.
In a very real sense, churches should be combines. This is a thought I have often had when I used to see combines more regularly or would look at pictures in Modern Farmer with my young children. We are mobile harvesters covering the acreage of souls in the fields surrounding us. The rumble of our constant prayers is well suited to the twelve month long harvest season. The header that engages the standing crop is as wide as the church has members – all of us reaching out, and reaching out, and reaching out… The fans that separate the chaff from the wheat are like the ministry of the word and prayer in our fellowship that God uses to bring us to himself and then ever closer to himself. To shed our grave clothes and then continue shedding them. And then to be delivered by the combine a pure and chaff-less grain of golden wheat into the waiting embrace of the farmer’s truck…
Too often we think of the church as a building with a purpose. Let’s think of it as a vehicle with a mission. And as careful as we might be to formulate catchy sayings and good slogans, our mission is really a simple thing. We are called to cooperatively reach out to embrace the lost and win them to Christ through the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb. Let’s encourage each other then to reach out to someone this month with the good news of what Jesus has done for us and invite them to join us in loving and serving our Savior who forgives and restores. Jesus bid his disciples to look at the whiteness of the harvest fields – the glow of a ripe crop in the light of a setting sun. And to pray for workers because we know from Matthew 9:37
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
We have opportunities to get out of our comfort zones and into the fields as a team, a combine, a church… Let’s enthusiastically and prayerfully commit to loving our neighbors together and sharing our lives and our Jesus with each and every one of them at.