March 2023 Column

Church Mission

The Harvest

“And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’” – John 4:36-37

Imagine having to manage a produce farm all by yourself. Tilling the ground all by yourself. Planting the seeds all by yourself. Watering the plants all by yourself. Gathering the strawberries, the apples, the watermelons all by yourself. Would it be impossible? No. Would it be difficult? Yes. Would it be easier to manage if you had others working beside you? Absolutely. Through the ages, farmers did not raise families just for the sake of doing so. To have a loving family is definitely of great value, but to also have extra hands sharing in the work is definitely of great help. Farmers have known the more hands, the more successful the harvest. And the same could be said for the work of the church.

In John 4:36-37, Jesus Christ shines light on the fact that a successful harvest for the Lord is not the result of a single person. He emphasizes that there is one who sows and another who reaps. There can be no harvest if there is no one to plant the seeds in the first place and still no harvest if there is no one to gather the fruit afterwards. Jesus also reveals in these verses that both sower and reaper can rejoice together at the time of harvest because of their combined efforts towards a fruitful yield. He tells us that everyone has a part to play when it comes to the work of the church and that no single part is more or less important than another. This could be why He sent out the Twelve Disciples two by two (Mark 6:7) as well as the seventy disciples two by two (Luke 10:1). Jesus knew the more hands, the more successful the harvest.

Questions for Discussion

What skills do you have that could be used towards the work of the church? How exactly would these skills be helpful?

What tools do you think you need to make the most of the skills you have? Where could you get these tools?

How can you use these skills and tools in conjunction with those around you to yield the best results for the work of the church?

Jesus said in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Working towards a successful harvest for the Lord is not just the work of a pastor. It’s not just the work of a missionary. It’s not just the work of a charitable organization. It’s the work of hands and feet and hearts and minds all united as one body of Christ. Working towards a successful harvest for the Lord is the work of the church. So let’s go – we’ve got work to do.

Contributors

Editor
Xiomara Perdomo

Xiomara Perdomo

Assistant to the President for Mission

Writer
Back to top

David Asscherick

David is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and ARISE co-founder and instructor. Since his baptism in 1999, David has traveled the globe preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Violeta are the happy parents of two boys, Landon and Jabel.

Keynote Speaker

Benjamin Lundquist, host of Rise & Lead, will headline 2023 AYP Convention.

Benjamin Lundquist is a top motivational speaker and one the leading voices for leadership development and empowerment. He is passionate about helping students and professionals see their worth and value, see themselves as a leader, and see their potential to change the world. The message he shares is motivating, relatable, and highly practical. Audiences are challenged to take extreme ownership of the unique gifts and opportunities they have. He is an international speaker and host of Rise and Lead Podcast which has been downloaded in over 110 countries providing aspiring and experienced leaders of all ages with world-class content and conversation. He frequently speaks at corporate and faith events, universities, and high schools.

Identity in Christ | Breakout Track

April is currently an associate pastor for discipleship at Keene SDA church. She is enrolled in a dual graduate program for Public Health and MDIV chaplaincy. She enjoys working with different ministries that highlight service, hospitality, and life enrichment. 

Her hobbies include traveling, reading, music, and extreme sports. An introvert at heart, she enjoys moments with close friends and in the quiet. Her and her husband, Blake Snyder reside in Burleson, Texas.

Purpose & Calling | Breakout Track

Ann Roda likes to describe her life as one long adventure with God. She began her career as a registered nurse in OB then transitioned into healthcare administration. Then, God unexpectedly redirected her path to the Adventist Theological Seminary, for an MDiv, and into pastoral ministry. She spent 15 years as a church pastor in Marietta, Georgia and Fulton, Maryland. Six years ago, God had another adventure for Ann, and called her back into the health care ministry, serving with Adventist HealthCare as Vice President for Mission and Spiritual Care. 

This position is the perfect combination of both pastoral ministry and health care. Ann is married to Jose Hernandez, a licensed professional counselor. Ann and her husband enjoy hiking, biking, and traveling.

Relationships | Breakout Track

Stephen and Felecia Lee are partners in the mission. They share a mutual passion for young adult ministries and using their talents to share the Gospel online and through speaking engagements. Stephen helps individuals and businesses function more efficiently through time management and productivity techniques. Felecia is a full-time homemaker and also the founder of the New Wives Club. 

In addition to this, she runs a program teaching women of color how to learn principles of faith through natural hair care. They live in New Hampshire and speak in different places on topics related to singleness, courtship, communication, evangelism, and faith.

Spiritual Health | Breakout Track

Shawn is passionate about generations coming together! She grew up in a four-generation family business and knows, from first-hand experience, that when people of all ages work together, everyone wins!

She has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Nebraska and is an award-winning sales and marketing professional. Her professional certifications include being a member of the John Maxwell Team and DISC Behavioral Consultant. Recently she published her first book “Strategies for Generational Inclusion at Work.”

Communities | Breakout Track

Michael Gibson currently serves as the Lead Pastor at the Keene SDA Church where he most previously served for four years as Pastor for Young Adults and lead Elevate, a growing and thriving young adult community in Keene. Michael is married to Melissa and they both enjoy the outdoors, long walks, and traveling to new, unexplored places. 

Most days, when he’s not teaching, preaching or studying, you’ll find him playing disc golf or working on home renovations with Melissa. They recently welcomed their son, Micah Eden, into the world last October and ever since, life has taken on a whole new meaning. Above all, Michael and Melissa have a passion for discipleship and telling others about the incredible God they serve. For them, the gospel boils down to loving God and loving people.