Summer is soon upon us and I wanted to drop a note to keep you connected with Northwest. Graduation occurred six weeks ago and about 80 men and women received diplomas and degrees through the ministry of Northwest and its partners in the Associated Canadian Theological Schools. Praise God for these new ministry leaders entering “the harvest.”
While I am so thankful for the potential each graduate holds for Kingdom advancement, I also realize it’s not enough! No matter how many people we train (and it’s over 3,000 now), it’s never enough! Christ’s church grows, its leaders mature, and new opportunities constantly emerge. The appetite for effective leaders in the Kingdom is insatiable. As Jesus declared, “the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.” 80 is few, 800 is few, 8,000 is few. Until Jesus returns, no matter how many ministry leaders we prepare for the harvest, it is too few. God’s plans for harvest always outstrip our ability to fill the need.
On one level this constant demand for new labourers could make one depressed. We never achieve our quota! God always wants more. But from another perspective, this constant requirement for more labourers indicates the Kingdom’s advancement and aggressive engagement with Satan’s domain. What is more amazing is that God chooses to use human agents in the harvest. Jesus is winning. The ranks of people in his Kingdom are swelling. The harvest is very plentiful.
Jesus puts the equipping of labourers at the very forefront of Kingdom priorities. Sometimes people think that seminary work is not “frontline” work in the Kingdom. I beg to differ. Perhaps the most challenging Kingdom work being done today is equipping effective ministry leaders. This is absolutely frontline stuff. The spiritual warfare that people experience in the context of their ministry preparation can be truly fearsome. When God is at work in people’s lives through the Seminary, Satan is never happy.
If you want to give Satan a bad day, then equip a Kingdom leader! If you want to put Satan’s agenda in total disarray, then invest in producing effective ministry leaders! It’s demanding work and the equipping of a ministry leader never really ends — it just gets more focused as the Spirit refines His work.
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial help. As we begin these summer months, please remember to pray and as God’s provides, make an investment in leadership development. Judy and I will be investing in leader development in Indonesia at the end of June, teaching the book of Romans to pastoral leaders. I have also initiated a new website (www.churchboardchairs.ca) to provide resources for church board chairs.
May God bless you wonderfully in this summer season.
Blessings in “the harvest,”
Larry Perkins, Ph.D.