How to Not Fear Missionary Work
Updated: Jan 1
I have enjoyed sharing some of my favorite Christian artists with you the last few months as part of our music portion of “Whatsoever Things are Lovely” (Philippians 4:8). We will definitely visit this topic again in the future. Our last artist for this series is Brandon Heath. I had a hard time deciding on the song I wanted to share with you because all of his songs are absolutely amazing. After much prayer, I finally was guided to select the “The Harvester.”
But before we get into breaking down the song and its application, let’s talk about the impact that Brandon Heath and his music has had in my life. In 2012, I was just starting to reach a season of joy after a season of tribulation. Most of what I wrote about in ‘How to Stop Living a Life of Regrets’ comes from those seasons of my life. Brandon Heath’s music came to me at that critical point. I heard the songs “Wait and See,” “I’m Not Who I Was,” and “The Light In Me” on the radio, and I was hooked. The messages were so powerful and resonated with my spirit so strong. They guided me through the difficult times I was facing. On January 16, 2012, I bought his album Leaving Eden. I remember the day because it was a holiday, and I was getting ready to meet up with some friends. I listened to the CD for months on end. I’ve supported Brandon Heath’s music ever since, and that is why I selected one of his songs to close this series. Read more about Brandon Heath here and by going to his website here.
Go ahead and watch the lyric video for “The Harvester” by following this link. I actually had the chance to see Brandon Heath in concert last year, and I got a clip of that song. You can watch it below:
I don’t know about you, but every time I listen to “The Harvester,” it motivates me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s turn to Matthew 9: 37-38 to understand why we are needed in this wonderful work.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Talking to his disciples, Jesus let them know that he recognized there was a lot of work to spread His message throughout the world, to bring people unto repentance, and to help them return to the presence of His Father. However, there were not a lot of laborers to take on this important assignment. Fast-forward to our day and time: Christ is calling us to His work right now. How many people do you interact with every day? On a regular work day, I see about twenty patients a day, sometimes they bring their family members along with them, so that original number could increase to twenty-seven people. Now add in the co-workers I interact with on a day-to-day basis, probably about fifteen. Add in some neighbors, maybe about seven to ten on average. If I run some errands…probably an extra fifty individuals. That brings me to anywhere from fifty-two to one hundred two interactions with people per day. (And that is excluding the individuals I interact with on social media). How many of those interactions have some form of conversation about Christ and His gospel? Sadly, at the moment, about two to five.
Why is my number so low? Here goes my list of excuses: not enough time to talk about Christ at work, being afraid to talk to a stranger about my beliefs, not knowing if a conversation about Christ or my faith could ruin a friendship, not knowing if the individuals would be interested in these topics, being afraid of rejection, being afraid of saying the wrong thing…you get the idea. As I was writing this, I realized my biggest problem is fear. And what has Christ told us? “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
Your situation may be different than mine. You may interact with a handful or several hundred people a day, you may already have conquered the fear roadblock, you might be bolder than most of us, or you may have access to more resources you can share with people throughout the day. Whatever your situation may be, we are the Lord’s laborers, and He is counting on us to spread His message.
What are the qualifications the Lord is looking for? We can find them in the following scripture:
Doctrine & Covenants 4:2-4
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
All He asks of us is that we have a desire to serve Him. If you have a desire to serve Him, then the next step is to desire this with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. Put all of your energy into it!
Now let’s break down “The Harvester.” Imagine that you are this individual. You rise early and get ready for the work that lies ahead. You pray for the strength that you will need. You start thinking of all the people that don’t know about Jesus Christ, and it appears overwhelming. There is so much work to do! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know that there are many people ready to hear the message: the harvest is ready! And as Brandon says, “the Master is coming, we are not done yet.” You get out the tools you will use to share His message: the scriptures, your faith, your testimony, the Holy Ghost, music, social media—to name a few. You commit to thrust in your sickle with all of your might and begin to work, rain or shine. At times the work is extremely difficult, and your heart aches as people reject the message or put it on hold. But, you planted the seeds. Other times, the work is easier as people recognize that the message is good and that they need it more than ever. Seasons later, some of the previous seeds you planted are finally ready to be gathered in as well.
So if you have a desire to serve God as His laborer in His harvest, I leave you with a challenge. Find what is holding you back and bring it to the Lord in mighty prayer. Ask Him to strengthen you in your weaknesses and ask Him to guide you to those individuals that are ready to hear His word. But don’t stop there. Be on the lookout for opportunities to share His message at home, at work, at school, on vacation, on social media, etc. You can start by sharing one of the music videos we have discussed over the last few months and how that particular video touched your heart. Or share how what you read in your scripture study helped you that day. One thing that we all must do is start conversations. You don’t have to start an in-depth conversation about a gospel topic from the get-go. When people ask you ‘how was your weekend?’ mention that you attended Church and were uplifted by a particular scripture or lesson that was taught or whatever spiritual experience you had over the weekend. Find ways to share with people that you are a believer and that you love God. Eventually, people will start asking questions. Heavenly Father will help you by letting you know when their hearts are prepared to take the next step.
I have a feeling we will come back to the topic of missionary work at some point. In the meantime, please share with us your successful and not so successful stories as a laborer in His harvest or what your desires and commitments are to begin.
If you would like to revisit the other posts from this series, you can read them below: