Today I felt the need to do something I’ve never done in my life….strawberry picking. I’ve always wanted to go but I wanted to go with my friends. However, God insisted that I go picking on my own. Let the records show, I am a fiend of strawberries: strawberry ice cream, cupcakes, smoothies (I ask for lots of strawberries), lemonade, yogurt, cheesecake, candy, you name it. So I was given a box to collect my findings.
So as I was doing my picking, I was amazed to see how strawberries were grown, it was awesome!! I was able to see the tinest berries to the largest berry of the bunch. I was aware of the green ones that were not ready yet to the ones that were at risk of going bad.
As far as evangelism, many of us in ministry tend to do the “easy route.” While I was picking, I felt that it is better for me to pick out the strawberries that were visible in my sight. I didn’t want to go too far out in case I end up dealing with “wildlife”. There was a family that was further down and it seemed as though they were out there for a good minute. So I decided to go where they were. To my surprise, I was able to find the strawberries that were ready to be picked.
Revelation #1: Don’t rush the reaping process for those who are not ready. For many of us ministers, we tend to rush people into making decisions for baptism. I have noticed that there were some strawberries that were far from being ready to be picked. If I were to pick them prematurely, the results would be bitter. Therefore, I have learned to give it time to ripen.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 tells us “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” It take patience to be able to gain authentic results.
Revelation #2: For some people, you would have to reach out, don’t assume that the person who is “ripe” is easy to find. Get out of the comfort zone. Some are the best strawberries that I picked were further from my car and more “plentiful.” I have to reach through some of the leaves to get the “perfect” strawberry. It took a good amount of risk to get most of the strawberries. God is telling me that there in order for me to save souls for the kingdom, I must go out in the “fields” and not relying on “store brought” souls, you know the ones that you expect to “save” when they arrive at our churches.
Revelation #3: There is an urgency for reaping those that are officially “ripe”. As I was picking, I noticed that there were some strawberries that had fully ripen, but they either gone bad or were being consumed by worms…DISGUSTING!!! There are those who are ready but they have been overlooked, they wanted to make that decision but were disregarded. Perhaps those who were reaping had underestimated their ripeness. Perhaps the “harvester” assumed that they were too young to be considered “ripe”. This shocked me because God wanted to bring this last revelation to my attention. There are those who are ready to take the next step but need guidance. As a Kidmin, I have noticed that there are some of us adults that assume that a child is not ready for the next step of baptism, thus ending up putting an age limit. I’ve noticed that sons parents are guilty in this area. I’m not saying to baptize a 2 year old but if the child fully understands the meaning of baptism and importance of the Christian Faith, don’t delay their next step. George Barna, one of the world’s leading statisticians said in his book, “Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions-Why Children Should Be Your Church’s #1 Priority,” “moral foundations of children are generally determined by the time the individual reaches age nine.” Our children are the greatest weapons of discipleship. I have seen how they are eager to tell others about Jesus. With the discernment from the Holy Spirit, we are able to notice those who are authentically “ripe”.
Therefore, we must not rush the process. We must get out of our comfort zones. We must be on the lookout for those who are ready to take the next step of baptism and be available to reap the harvest before they turn bad. The Bible tells us “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. (Luke 10:2 NLT)” At this point in earth’s history , God is calling us to finish this work by bring others to Him. As my spiritual mother has once preached, “It is time to get out the huddle (church)” and win souls for the Kingdom of God. Now it’s the time to go out into the fields and reap the harvest.
Are you ready? What is stopping you?