“The fields are white for harvest…”

“The fields are ripe for harvest…”
John 4:35
Charles Scott
The Need
• The Christian world view is no longer a
“common denominator” for our society.
– “We live in a post-Christian era now, and (people) are
not coming through our doors in sufficient numbers,
so we must go to them”. (1)
Martin Hendy
Co-chair, Transformation Team, Vancouver Island, Anglican Church
– A large portion of young people have little or no familiarity
with Christian truths.
Source: Roszan Holmen, “Anglican diocese considers closing almost half its churches”, Victoria News. Article published: Jan. 26, 2010,
sourced from www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_south/victorianews/news/82741892.html
The Need
• Consider the transition in marketing.
Product = Benefit
Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yANasBU4jIo
The Need
• Consider the transition in marketing.
Product = Benefit
Product = Connection with an Ideal
Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCRS0hQctus
The Need
• Consider the transition in marketing.
Product = Benefit
Product = Connection with an Ideal
Product = Personal identity,
meaning, purpose
in life.
Source: “The Persuaders”, © 2004 WGBH Educational
Foundation, downloaded from
The entire program may be viewed online at
• How do you perceive this shift?
– The “modern” person views God as irrelevant?
– The church has failed to impact the world for Christ?
– Here is my view…
Implications for life, the universe, everything!
There is no God
I need to tackle all the big things in my own
strength. I am on my own.
God exists, but does
not get involved.
As above.
God is in everything
(including me).
I’m the prime actor in making change.
It’s mostly up to me.
God cares / I reach
out to connect.
I’m on the “good works treadmill”, earning /
maintaining God’s favour and attention.
God cares / actively
reaches out to me.
God takes the initiative, reaches out even if
I don’t reach back. God’s in charge.
The Message
The core Christian message (The Gospel) is:
• God’s plan – Peace and Life
– God loves me and has a plan for my life
– My sin separates me from God
• God’s remedy – The Cross
• My problem – Separation
– Because He loves us, God pays the price we cannot
• My response – Receive Christ
– Recognise my need, receive the gift, follow God
Refer to: www.billygraham.org/specialsections/steps-to-peace/steps-to-peace.asp
The Message
The core Christian message (The Gospel) is:
Jeremiah 29:11
Romans 3:23
Romans 5:8
John 15:11
John 10:10
Isaiah 59:2
Romans 6:23
Acts 4:12
John 14:6
John 8:31-32
John 1:12
Romans 10:9
Reality Check
An adult is in one of only two states:
Union with God
Separation from God
Everyone loves John 3:16, right?
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the
world, but to save the world through him.
18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does
not believe stands condemned already because he has not
believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved
darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
How, then, to respond?
• Jesus’ guidance: Love
John 13:34-35 – Love for fellow Christians
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved
you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that
you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Matt 5:43-45 – Love for all people
“You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbour and hate
your enemy.‘ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those
who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in
How, then, to respond?
• Common mistakes to avoid:
– Shoving the Gospel down peoples’ throats.
– Seeing people as projects, to “save” them.
– Spewing anger, judgement, hatred.
In other words, not like this…
2007 Emmys
Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxmXbwCpN68
Source: Wikipedia, attributed to the Westboro Baptist Church website,
So, what do we do?
• Pray for God to act.
– Saving people is God’s job
• We are merely the gloves filled by a divine Hand.
John 6:65
He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can
come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”
So, what do we do?
• Pray for God to act.
• Reach out in genuine love.
Example: Dorcas (Acts 9:36-39)
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when
translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the
poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was
washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so
when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two
men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!“ Peter went with
them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All
the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and
other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
So, what do we do?
• Pray for God to act.
• Reach out in genuine love.
• Speak gently when possible.
– Example: Paul in Athens (Acts 17:16-32)
Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly
distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said:
"Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very
religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at
your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this
inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship
as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
So, what do we do?
• Bring the Gospel to those who need it.
Basis: The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth
has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And
surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Example: The Church at Ephesus (Acts 19:8-10)
Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months,
arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became
obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul
left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the
lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and
Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
Luke 10:1-2
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent
them two by two ahead of him to every town and place
where he was about to go. He told them,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out
workers into his harvest field.”