“And [Jesus] said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”
There are many contributing factors that lead someone to consider church vocations. One sainted Lutheran school teacher once told me that it was singing the hymn “Hark the Voice of Jesus’ Crying” that led her to consider church work. A retired pastor recalls a seminary professor preaching at his home congregation as a boy and meeting his parents and brothers. The professor said, “A fine group of boys. Surely one of them can serve in the Church.” For some, the influence comes from a pastor or Lutheran school teacher. For others it may be the encouragement of parents to serve in the Church.
The starting point for raising up servants in Christ’s Church is heeding our Lord’s invitation to pray for the laborers. I was especially struck at the call services at our seminaries at the joy of members who traveled to meet their new pastors. But the ordination of a pastor or a commissioning of a teacher or Director of Christian Education are simply God’s answers to the prayers of His faithful people.
Today, twenty-two thousand youth and adults are gathering in Minneapolis for the LCMS National Youth Gathering. While we pray for the spiritual growth and the safety of those who attend, we also pray that Lord would lead many of these young people to consider service in Christ’s Church. The laborers are few and our entire church body is needed as God fulfills His promise of providing the next generation of servants. We need Lutheran school teachers and principals. The world needs Deaconesses and Directors of Christian Outreach. Our congregations need pastors. Please join me in praying that the young people in Minneapolis would consider preparing at one of our Concordias. We give thanks to God for all of those who have served in the past and who currently serve in church vocations. But now is a time for us pray together for laborers for the harvest.
Prayer – O Jesus Christ, Lord of the Harvest, for the benefit of Your people You call faithful men and women to serve in a variety of offices in Your Church. Grant that Your Holy Spirit may lead and guide many young people to consider service to Christ and His Church according to Your gracious will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan