December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
We're so glad you're taking a next step to get connected! Login or create your Calvary account below.
Don’t have an account? Sign up ›
What will it take to reach the people in your city for Christ? In the final part of this special series, we’ll explore Matthew 9:35–38 and Jesus’ prayer for the harvest and the workers. Discover how we can come together in prayer for God to put us on mission!
Icebreaker Question: What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten at work?
TAKE IT IN
In this section, we’ll give a brief overview of the topic and some key talking points to consider and reflect on before you dive into the discussion.
Memory Verse of the Week: Matthew 9:35–38 (NIV)
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
The Mission of the Workers: Matthew 28:19–20
The disciples were commissioned to make more disciples by sharing Christ’s message with the world. And this commission has passed on to every other disciple of Jesus Christ, to every Christian from the time when it was first given to this very moment.
It’s the mission statement of every church worldwide for all time! But it’s not an individual mission. Our mission was born within a context of community, and these two dynamics are eternally linked. God wants us on mission, but not on our own. He wants us to go, but to go together as one . . . undivided. When we do, what He does will exceed every expectation and every imagination (Ephesians 3:20).
How can we expect people who aren’t told about the gospel to live out the gospel?
How is it that many Christians get so indignant at nonbelievers when their lifestyles don’t line up with Christian values they know little to nothing about? And even worse, how can we expect people to know Jesus and live like Him when what they often see from so-called Christians is a poor representation of living in Christ? How can they be saved if we, the community of Christ followers who love our Lord, the workers Jesus referenced in Matthew 9, don’t tell them the good news of salvation and don’t display the fruit of salvation? Answer: We can’t!
According to Barna research in 2018, only 64% of Christians believe it’s their responsibility to share their faith. A 2019 Lifeway study showed that 55% of Christians surveyed had not shared their faith with anyone in the last six months. Can you imagine going six months without talking about the most important thing in your life? Can parents go six months without telling someone about their kids? Can you go six months without talking about your job? Your favorite show or movie? Politics? Probably not . . . How, then, can more than half of people who call themselves Christians go six months without telling someone about their life in Christ?
If you’re in Christ, if you’re His disciple; you have been sent. You are a worker for the harvest. It’s not just a call for 45% of Christians or the job of a select group of super Christians or pastors . . . it’s our collective mission.
2 Corinthians 5:17–20 says we’re called ministers of reconciliation and Christ’s ambassadors, “as though God were making his appeal through us.” Bible college training isn’t required to do this. The gospel of Jesus has the power to change every heart on its own. All you need to do is be a messenger who delivers this good news. And here’s something amazing to remember: You’re not alone in the mission. As we saw earlier, it’s a call for all of us. We get to do this together—to tell and show the world who Jesus is, how much He loves them, and how a relationship with Him changes everything!
Below, you’ll find some key discussion questions to personally reflect on and/or discuss in your small group, with your family, or in your circle of friends.
Discussion Question 1: In what ways can you fulfill the Great Commission in the context of your family? Work? Community? What is keeping you from fulfilling the Great Commission?
Discussion Question 2: Have you ever found yourself angry or upset with a nonbeliever for living and believing as they do? Why? What should the believer’s response be?
Discussion Question 3: What does it mean to be a worker? Why are there so few?
Discussion Question 4: How can we become more sensitive to the needs of others? What practical things can we do to grow in this way?
Have someone in your group read this prayer as you close:
Heavenly Father, wonderful Lord of the harvest, we’re surrounded by people who are lost, hurting, burdened, harassed, and helpless. So, in obedience to Jesus’ command, we pray together that You would stir up Your Church by igniting our hearts with passion and compassion for those who don’t know You. We ask You to move in our hearts so we may be bold to live out our faith and share the truth of the gospel in schools, on college campuses, in workplaces, neighborhoods, government buildings, and around the world.
In Jesus’ Name.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.