In the field or in the barn?

barn and fieldAs I think about Luke 10:2 and the plentiful ripe harvest described, I am struck with a truth often overlooked in today’s church world. The truth is this…. The harvest is in the field not in the barn.

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send OUT workers into his harvest field. GO! I AM SENDING YOU OUT like lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:2-3

In Mark 4 “A farmer went OUT to sow his seed…”  I wonder, are we spending a little too much time trying to harvest the harvested?  Are we spending a little too much time in the barn and not enough time in the field.

I asked this question at a semenar I was doing recently and the response I receieved when I talked about spending time building relationships with those in the “world” around us, not as projects but in caring relationships, didn’t surprise me.  The response was from scripture and creates a tension in the church world.  Can you guess what the passage of scripture was?

1 Cor. 15:33 —- “Don’t be misled… Bad company corrupts good character.”

So now what do we?  There is no shortage of scriptures that call us “out” and no shortage of scriptures that call us “out”.  We are to come out and we are to go out at the same time… Feel the tension yet?

What are your thoughts on this?


11 thoughts on “In the field or in the barn?

  1. Both are true: the harvest is OUT there, but so is an abundance of opportunity for unrighteousness. That’s why we need the church. If our only companions are unsaved, we’ll tend to become more like them than the other way around. If we’re solidly rooted in Godly relationships with other believers, we can build the kind of relationships needed to reach the lost.

  2. That response is ridiculous. There is too much bad company corrupting good character INSIDE the walls of the church. Honestly, I am more worried about that than I am of someone outside the church making a dent in my character.

  3. My opinion is that it is ridiculous to be hesitant to foster relationships with so-called unchurched people because of a fear that they will somehow affect our character. I agree with you Tony, that we need Godly relationships to keep us grounded and accountable. But I disagree completely with the notion that we shouldn’t reach out and cultivate relationships with “the world” simply because we might lose our faith or somehow fall into a trap of immorality.

  4. Thanks for clarifying.

    Paul’s words should serve as a warning for all, of course…but being aware of our own tendency to stray and to seek the approval of others is not at all the same as being hesitant to foster relationships with non-Christians. I’m sorry if what I wrote led you to believe that I thought otherwise.

    In my opinion, the Body of Christ worries way too much about being corrupted by ‘the world’ and not enough about being salt and light. I’d be much happier if we had more cigarette butts in our church parking lots (as the old saying goes). It’s ALL about reaching out. If we’re not reproducing, we’re either immature or disobedient.

    That said, Paul’s words shouldn’t be ignored…they should be understood in context. Those who use it as an excuse for isolationism need to keep reading:

    Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

  5. We are to “GO and make disciples” and these days I’m not seeing much GOING any where than to our busy lives and to church where there should already be disciples. I think we need to slow down, not be so busy so we can “GO” and let God happen.

  6. The notion that somehow we can be corrupted beyond the saving grace of Jesus Christ diminishes the power of the Gospel. Salvation is unconditional and set by the cross and unchangeable by men. If it were, then it would be little more than “another path to heaven”. We need the Church, body of Christ to edify and strengthen as we walk in a fallen world in the confines of the flesh. But the church, congregation, has nothing to do with my standing with God. We are free from the condemnation of sin in Christ and can walk with out fear as we live our daily lives. There is no sin greater than the power of Christ to save us from. So live free and walk in this world free from the bondage and fear of sin. Trust Christ for your salvation and His power to work among those you walk with. Saved and unsaved. Live Free!
    Darrel – I really appreciate your blog. I will gladly visit often.

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