“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” -Matthew 9:36-38
• Christ had compassion on the multitudes. He isn’t stoic to the needs of the flock.
• Sheep aren’t faceless names. They are people to have compassion upon.
• Sheep without a shepherd have the tendency to scatter.
• Sheep need a shepherd.
• The harvest was plenteous. Basically, it’s not the duty of the ministry to make sheep or populate heaven. God had already brought forth a harvest. They were sheep without a shepherd, not goats needing to become sheep.
• Laborers are typically in great demand. A side note to this point, there always have been more children of God than there are ministers to shepherd them.
• God commands us to pray for laborers. The remedy for lack of ministry is truly only in God’s power, but prayer is the means through which he blesses this endeavor. All disciples of Christ should pray for this cause.
• Ministers are not called to a title alone, but instead, they are called to a work.
• This command by Christ was not flippantly given. This was given in urgency. In other words, the demand is great and the danger is immediate.
Conclusion, sheep need shepherds and shepherds need to be shepherding. Congregations need to take this seriously by always incorporating this into their prayer life. Ministers who are sent need to take this endeavor with the utmost seriousness and appropriate sacrifice. We all need to be praying to this end.
Originally published April 2016