Here’s a “Billyism” that needs to be shared with EVERYONE who has the privilege to teach or preach … an implanted seed in a prepared soil will produce the desired harvest. Isn’t the harvest really what ministry is all about? This harvest is brought in as we preach and teach the Word about a subject (prepare the soil), allow the Father to talk to the heart of the individual (plant the seed), and finally provide an opportunity for the Father bring forth the fruit (harvest).
Simple? Yep. Evidently too simple. So simple that one or more of these elements are often missed in Sunday school classes, children’s/youth ministry services, and adult services. Here are just a few examples:
*Some fail to insure that the soil is prepared. After a brief scattered overview of the subject, some are ready to give an altar call and then move on to the next subject. No. No. No! Prepare the soil. Nowhere do you read that the harvest has to be drawn in after one quick teaching. Take your time. Make it the message plain. Pull out the obstacles in the soil that would hinder the seed from bringing in a harvest.
* Some fail to recognize that you can’t get tomatoes and cucumbers off of the same vine. In other words, expect the harvest to match only what you’ve prepared for. Years ago, I visited a church where the evangelist gave a phenomenal, powerful salvation message. After inviting people to the altar to receive the gift of salvation, out of nowhere the evangelist gave a 60 second appeal for those wanting to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Many of the children/youth at that service didn’t even have a clue about the Holy Spirit’s existence. Needless to say, that brought confusion and no fruit was harvested in that area.
* Some fail to allow the Father to put His hand upon each individual piece of harvest. The message to the group can overshadow the personal touch of the Father to the individual. Personalize the appeal by saying something to the effect of, “The Father wants you to know that He has prepared for you …”
* Some fail to bring in the harvest. If you have prepared the soil, allowed the Holy Spirit to plant the seed, you can expect a harvest. Make room/time for the Father to bring in the promised harvest. In other words, give an altar call and invite people to respond. NEVER plant a seed and not allow time for the Holy Spirit to complete the work. Failing to bring in the fruit makes it possible for the thief to steal the seed. Always, always, always, always provide an opportunity for the Father to bring in the harvest.
There’s not much time left to bring in the harvest. Jesus is coming soon. So, let’s make every effort count!