Season of Accelerated Growth and Harvest
ON THE AGENDA for a recent five-day World Outreach International leadership gathering in Singapore were various important items to be addressed, and in turn, decisions needed to be made. As we got underway, and during our prayer and discussion times, we felt inspired to plan and make decisions, not just for the immediate, i.e. 2015, but also with the year 2020 in mind.
That got us thinking and talking about what we imagined the world would look like come 2020, what would the challenges of world missions be and what decisions do we need to make now for WOI to be both relevant and effective five to six years from now. Some faith-inspired prayer and synergistic discussion times made each day truly memorable. The Holy Spirit clearly impressed on our hearts that the world of missions was coming into a season of global conquest and unprecedented growth.
With the year 2020 in mind, there was a unanimous agreement that WOI needs to be making plans now to be engaged with 140 Least Reached People groups (currently among 85). For this to happen, another 240 new cross-cultural personnel will need to be deployed. A strategy evolved whereby 140 such personnel could come from developing nations and 100 from developed nations.
Shortly after this Singapore meeting, my wife Mary and I were travelling and spent a few days with people we know and respect, and who knew nothing of our recent WOI leadership gathering outcomes. They asked if they could pray for us before we left. The following prophecy came forth.
The ministry is coming into a season of accelerated growth and harvest. There are two types of fields before your organisation. The first are fields that are ready for harvest where much sowing and work has already taken place. The other fields are where you haven’t planted yet. With regards to the second fields, the Lord would have you involved in such harvest because you have been good stewards of the things you have already planted. The Lord is saying that He is giving you fields that you haven’t even sown, and you are not going to have to wait, as they are opening up now. They are fields that you’ve maybe dreamt of. They are fields that are already tilled and ready. Things that normally can take a long time are going to be happening really fast, hence the season for accelerated growth, when the harvester overtakes the sower. You will be involved in reaping harvests that in your thinking you will say, ‘but we didn’t do any sowing in this place, yet we are reaping a harvest.’ Things are about to speed up. Don’t allow limited resources to hinder your dream of what can be. Continue to dream and have vision for the future because resources of both manpower and finances will be aligned to such vision.
Matthew 24 could be interpreted by some as a chapter of doom and gloom, something most Christians would prefer not to be around to witness. However right in the middle of the chapter is verse 14 that declares, “And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations (ethne), and then the end will come.” Basically it is saying that during times of political, social, religious and economic chaos, the preaching of the Gospel is going to bring in a great harvest among all of the world’s ethnic communities – all just prior to the return of Christ.
We in WOI are committed to embracing this season of accelerated growth and harvest. We hope you will partner with us, as together we can make a difference!
John is the Present Emeritus of World Outreach. He lives with his wife, Mary, in New Zealand.