So, who reaps in Vacation Bible School? Have you ever found yourself asking this question?
Yesterday, a fairly new Twitter friend of mine, who goes by the handle “DaveDerPunkt” (You’ll have to read his Twitter bio to see the explanation for that!), shared an article called “I Said Something New“. I found the article so interesting that I finally broke down and created a Blogger profile to use so I can comment on all the great blogs over there at Blogger!
Anyway, I ended up signing up for Preacher Dave’s RSS feed and went browsing through a few of his more recent articles. In the process, I came across “Why Evangelize?”
In this post, Preacher Dave ponders the question, “What makes an evangelist successful?” I strongly encourage you to read his article for yourself, but I would like to take it a step further here and focus in on child evangelism (since, after all, that is what Vacation Bible School is all about!).
Even in Vacation Bible School, One Sows, Another Reaps
If you have been involved in child evangelism (or any evangelism, really) for very long, you have probably noticed that you are not always doing the “reaping”. That is, you are not always the one to lead a child in a prayer of salvation. You are not always the one to connect a child with the preacher for baptism. You may not even be the one who sees the child start attending church faithfully!
Jesus said, “Herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.” (John 4:37) Without sowing, there would be no reaping. Without reaping, the sowing would be in vain. Which part is yours?
Paul’s or Apollos’s?
Paul encountered a problem that may arise: the comparison of different men’s work. Listen to his admonition to the Corinthian church:
…There is among you envying, and strife, and divisions…for while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed…? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
There is no point in trying to decide whose work is “more important”–or even in trying to decide who did the work. The work is God’s!
Our part is to make sure that whatever our part is, we give it our best.
If sowing is your work, be not sparing!
You will find that Vacation Bible School tends to involve a lot of sowing. But remember, without the sowing, there would be no reaping.
When you sow, be generous! Sure, some of the seeds will fall on rocky ground and be devoured by the birds. Sure, some will spring up in virtually no time, yet just as quickly wither when the heat of trials come in the child’s life.
Don’t let that be reason for discouragement!
Some of those seeds are going to take root. Deep root. And deep roots, of course, take some time to grow. In the end, though, the child will bear precious fruit. He may be in Heaven as a direct result of your efforts!
Which child will it be? I don’t know. You won’t know.
We can only look on the outward appearance, but God is all the while looking on the heart. It may be the apparently least-promising child who clings to your words and your loving actions. It may be that child who finds Jesus through your evangelistic efforts at Vacation Bible School. I don’t know.
Spare not the precious seed for any reason!
If you are called to “reap”, don’t count the work done!
At some point, someone will be called to reap the harvest that has been sown in the children’s lives through Vacation Bible School. There is the possibility that you will be that one.
Whether that point of reaping is counted as a prayer of salvation, or a baptism, though, do not consider your work done! As long as we are still on this old earth, we are in enemy territory. There is one who does not rejoice with us in precious souls saved for the Kingdom of Heaven.
So stay on guard! Wrap the newly converted children in prayer. Reach out to them with encouragement. Continue sowing seeds in their lives.
We will come rejoicing!
Even the reapers must humbly realize that Jesus “sent you to reap whereon ye bestowed no labour; other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.” (John 4:38)
Jesus said, “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” (John 4:36) Let us encourage one another and enter into our part with reverence and anticipation.
One day, we will come rejoicing. The Lord has promised, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:6)
Soon, the ultimate reaping will come. The work will be finished, and we will all know that it was God who gave the increase.
~How about you? Do you have a story of how God has encouraged you to keep faithfully sowing seeds for eternity? I would love to hear it!