Vol.X No.XI Pg.6
January 1974

Dear Lord Of Harvest

Robert F. Turner

I have a letter on my desk, begging for a dedicated MAN who will go and preach the gospel, Recently the elders of a large church told me they were seeking desperately for a real MAN, whom they could support and send forth into the world with the truth. And there are churches with large unallocated funds, set aside for support of gospel preachers, but waiting for the MAN who will qualify, and go.

These are not places for someone to settle, play golf (or go hunting), and establish community ties as he implements a local teaching program —although I understand it is becoming increasingly difficult to find well qualified men for this too. But there is a desperate need for men who will break ties with our affluent and comfortable way of life, for the cause of Jesus Christ.

The MAN must be one who has given his heart to the Lord, who truly has a hunger for souls. He must be realistic enough to see that zeal can not take the place of knowledge, and he must be willing to study hard and get as much experience as possible in his own part of the world, before launching out into the deep. He should know that being in a mission field does not make a man brilliant. Instead, it often shows how little he knows, and makes his conceit and arrogance the more obnoxious to those who hear him.

He should understand that people are very much the same in all parts of the world. The ignorant in Africa act about like the ignorant do here; and the clear-minded valid prospect in India is no more likely to act impulsively than his counterpart here. Genuine converts to the Lord come one at the time, being taught, hearing, learning, coming. The true MAN of God is not number or publicity hungry. He is soul-hungry, and works accordingly. I have been impressed with the fact that churches looking for real MEN of the gospel seem to understand this, and are content to find MEN who will do their work well, and leave the increase to God.

One group of elders told me recently, We want a MAN who can take being shot at (i.e., with Satans barbs) and know when and how to shoot back. It is not an easy assignment. They are asking for experience, and wisdom in the use of the sword of the Spirit. I hope they realize that the best will sometimes err and fail. But is this asking too much?? I think it is not. Surely the evangelist should understand that his role in the army of the Lord will place him in the front line of battle, and he should prepare himself to fight the fight.

There was a time when we thought we had plenty of MEN, but no means of supporting or sending them. I suspect we were wrong on both scores. There have never been enough MEN, and there has always been a way for real MEN to go. Our present affluency only makes the want of MEN more apparent.

And the basic message of this article becomes a cry for laborers in the vineyard. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into His harvest. (Matt. 9:37-f)