Challenge, equip and mobilize Christians to become Kingdom laborers.At the center of our mission is the distinguishing word laborer. It's a biblical word that Jesus used in Matthew 9:35-38. After traveling from town to town and seeing all the harassed and helpless people, He turned to His disciples and said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out laborers into his harvest field" (italics added). According to Jesus, laborers are the answer to the great harvest need. Laborers are his plan for the masses of harassed and helpless people in the world. And He doesn't seem to have a "plan B."But what is a laborer? Simply put, a laborer is a disciple in action. (The very word implies action and work.) Laborers are those who are making a difference in people's lives and in God's Kingdom by actively and lovingly serving those around them. They get into the mud puddles of life’s deepest needs. They're ordinary people who are making an extraordinary difference in the places where God has given them influence—in their families, neighborhoods, communities, schools, workplaces, churches, etc. They're taking their love for God into places all over the world by putting their Christian faith into action in practical and meaningful ways.Laborership (a word we made up) is not confined to vocational ministry. In fact, we believe God has called every Christian to be a laborer in His Kingdom—applying his or her gifts, passions, hobbies, past experiences and season of life to ministry. It's not just for the speakers, teachers, preachers, authors, missionaries, musicians and other "spotlight" ministers. And it's not just for those who have culturally-valued leadership gifts.Every Christian is uniquely designed by God to have an impact on the lives of others in ways that are meaningful and important. Every Christian is a minister. Every Christian is called to be a laborer.
Pastors commonly speak of the 80-20 principle that's at work in their churches—20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. This reality can cause those who are actively involved in ministry (vocational or non-vocational) to become weary because the job is much bigger than them. Meanwhile, those who are sitting on the sidelines of ministry get even more spiritually complacent and lazy. A part of our mission is to challenge the 80 percent who are sitting on the sidelines to get into the game!Part of the power in the word laborer is that it does not specifically imply what the work of a laborer is or can be. Indeed, God has called us each to a different kind of labor. He's equipped us with different passions, gifts and spheres of influence that will shape how we serve Him and others. God doesn't use a cookie cutter to cut out each laborer. Each laborer's ministry is as distinct as he or she is.But there's more to being a laborer than laboring. Much more. Being a laborer, first and foremost, means knowing and loving the One for whom we labor. Before God calls us to live a life of ministry, He will call us to a life of intimate relationship with Himself. That's why we believe that laborership starts with loving God.We believe the hallmark characteristics of a laborer are:
For a more complete understanding of what it means to be a laborer, see the article "The World's Greatest Need," by Dwight Robertson.
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