The question assumes, first of all, that the unleashed church is engaging the world rather than settling for the ‘holy huddle’ as the primary expression of the body of Christ. The church thrives as a ‘going’ experience rather than a ‘hunker down’ way of life.
But, once we make that turn toward sowing the word and shining the light out into the world, we can find ourselves simply doing what we see others doing rather than letting Jesus give us clear, specific direction as to where we are to sow.
I have been guilty of this. I look at other ‘master-sowers’ and at the fields they are called to and at the way that they sow and at the fruit that they are having, and I then assume that I am supposed to do what they are doing and in the types of settings they are doing it. But this negates the beauty of the diversity of who God made each of us to be.
“What fields am I called to sow into?”
When I answer this question for myself, I first recognize that there are fields that are around me each day, that I do want to sow into regularly:
- Co-workers or fellow students
Even so, I want to take Jesus’ lead in asking where the Father is working and learn to have a listening relationship with Him so that, even in my everyday sowing, I am working where He is.
But, honestly, it seems to me that the sky is the limit once we begin asking the Father where he wants us to sow beyond the most obvious. Some of us are gifted/called to touch the lives of people who are severely handicapped, or who live in the farthest parts of the world, or who have extreme needs, or who are in extreme situations, or none of the above, or who live in a specific area across town, or right in my neighborhood, or neither.
Some of us are even called to sow into the fields of the ‘already-Christian’ who needs to be discipled (without sinking into the holy-huddle syndrome).
My point is not to try to describe the many possible variations but to affirm all of them if that is where Jesus is leading us to sow. And, yes, not all will produce the kinds of ‘evident fruit’ that a book will be written about. That often misses the point when the real issue is, are we faithfully, in love, following Jesus into that field where He is working and wants us to work alongside of Him?
For me, this is a key question to ask myself and then keep on asking… Which can lead to two more questions, for a future post:
1. Who are we to sow with as co-laborers?
2. How… are we to sow? The latter question suggests that not all ‘mission’ work looks like typical evangelism as we know it…