The Holy Ministry – Compassion

The Holy Ministry – Compassion is a wake up call.  It was the time when the disciples became Apostles.  They went from being the students in the seat to the preachers on the streets!  What does that look like for us?  I think it’s helpful for us to see our audience.

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them” (Matthew 9:36). The Greek word translated “compassion” refers to a type of love that almost overwhelms one’s emotions. Jesus looks at the people and is willing to do anything for them—to make any sacrifice, even the ultimate one at the cross. These aren’t just our neighbors, our coworkers, and classmates.  These are the harvest prepared by our Lord!

What should we do if we have a problem?  The problem being there is a harvest, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone to bring that harvest in.  PRAY!  Ask God to help.  AND… he did.  Jesus called the twelve disciples.  Now on that note, I want to share with you some of the details of the problem in our church body about not having enough workers.  Understand that this is a problem for us, but it isn’t for our Almighty God.  His grace is sufficient for his church too.

There were 116 requests for candidates (90 in 2022, 74 in 2021, 57 in 2020). There were 42 candidates available (27 in 2022, 33 in 2021, 26 in 2020), and all of them were assigned, so 74 of those Calls were unfilled (63 in 2022, 41 in 2021, 31 in 2020). Of those 42 candidates, 37 were seniors receiving their first Call and 5 were from previous classes. In addition, 2 men were reassigned to one-year Calls. After the Assignment Committee did its work, there were still 140 vacancies for pastor-trained parish men synod-wide (136 in 2022, 95 in 2021, 87 in 2020), a 12% vacancy rate.

There were 61 (74 in 2022, 92 in 2021, 120 in 2020) teacher candidates who could go anywhere (48 from the graduating class and 13 from previous years), and all of them were assigned. In addition, 40 teacher candidates who were limited geographically received Calls, and 37 teacher candidates returned for another year to their current place of service, for a total of 138 candidates assigned (125 in 2022, 168 in 2021, 150 in 2020). After the Assignment Committee met, there were still 158 total vacancies for teacher-trained men and women synod-wide (at least 140 at this time in 2022, 90 in 2021, 50 in 2020). Of those 158, 114 had brought Calls to the Assignment Committee that went unfilled.

On Sunday we prayed that the Lord of the harvest would send more workers, like Max Kerr into the harvest field.  Please do encourage the young people around you to consider a life of ministry.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message from Matthew 9, The Holy Ministry – Compassion.