Join the Harvest

On Sunday, I had the great opportunity to preach on Jesus’ parable of the weeds in Matthew 13. If you want to watch that message, you can do so here. I feel God is challenging us as Christians to avoid the trap of inertia in these crazy days. God’s focus is on the harvest, desiring that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). In my message, I called upon us as believers to “join the harvest,” by being proclaimers of the gospel. Today, I want to give some practical suggestions for how to do that.
 
In Your Community
Often, we can feel inadequate to the task of sharing Jesus with others, perhaps fearing we don’t know the Bible enough or don’t have a good enough testimony to share. Don’t let this hamper you. One of the best gospel sharing skills is the ability to listen. The simplest and best way to start being a light in your community is to get to know the stories of people around you. Invite a neighbor for social distance cup of coffee or lunch and get to know them. Make praying for your neighbors a priority. The Holy Spirit will give you what you need to be a light. As you hear your neighbors’ stories and share your own faith journey, questions about God and the Bible are sure to come up. Don’t be afraid of not knowing the answers! Just be honest and let these kinds of questions drive you to dive deeper into prayer and the Scriptures to find them. Plus, your pastors are always here to help you figure things out.
 
At Grace
You’re not alone in the mission of harvester! There are many ways to serve at Grace that can help bring the light of the gospel to those who need to hear it. Here are a few:
  • First impressions are lasting and a friendly face at the door can do wonders to make a newcomer feel at home on a Sunday morning. That’s what the greeting team is all about.
  • I recently talked to one of our kids ministry volunteers who admitted that when first approached about teaching, he felt hesitant. He wasn’t confident he knew enough to teach it. At the same time, he felt God was challenging him to jump in so he did. Now, having been given our great curriculum to work with, he told me his own knowledge of scripture is growing in leaps and it’s a joy to pass that on to the kids. There’s always opportunity to serve as a teacher, a teacher’s assistant or in the nursey in Kids Ministry!
  • Youth ministry at Grace is all about relationship. There are middle and high school students who simply soak up the love and friendship adult mentors can offer.
This list certainly isn’t exhaustive. We also have many local ministry partnerships, missions opportunities, worship & tech team and many other areas where you could have an impact. Feel free to reach out to any of the pastors or staff to talk with you about any of these opportunities (see emails below). There is something for all of our committed Grace Chapel family, members and non-members alike, to get involved in. We would love the opportunity to work together with you.
 
May we as a church be the salt and light of the Kingdom of God in our community!
 
Want to talk more about serving at Grace or being a light in your community? Email me directly at sean@gfcnj.com, Pastor James (jpanza@gfcnj.com), Pastor Frankie (frankie@gfcnj.com), Kids Ministry Director Katie Ressa (katie@gfcnj.com) or Church Administrator Traci Otalora (traci@gfcnj.com

Sean's Picks

The Darker The Dirt, The Richer The Soil - This poem by my friend and classmate Sarah Bourns is an inspiring word in challenging times.

The Road, The Rocks and The Weeds - This song by John Mark McMillan is a powerful reflection on the parable of the sower and our God who scatters himself widely on behalf of his lost children. You can find the lyrics here.

Missions Spotlight:
Leadership for Development

The coronavirus pandemic continues to provide challenges for LFD and their workers in the field. The resurgence in COVID-19 cases has kept many countries from returning to normal.

Pray that the Lord would keep the coronavirus from continuing to spread and mitigate the health, economic, social, and political impacts of this pandemic crisis on the entire world. As a result many countries have tightened their visa requirements and procedures.

Please pray for LFD frontline workers’ visa renewal so that they can continue to stay and serve on the field. The pandemic and the changes in the political environment have required new strategies and creative approaches to cross-cultural work.

Pray for wisdom for the LFD team as we plan for future development. May all that we think about and carry out be pleasing to the Lord. Specifically, for the workers in the field, please pray that the Holy Spirit will work mightily among them, opening their minds to see new opportunities. May they be sensitive to the guidance of the Spirit and face the future with confidence and joy.
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