Many of our readers will be very aware that the great Apostle constantly recognizes and thanks the many men and women who joined him in his ministry to the nations. Almost every epistle begins and ends with their names. Some are famous in the history of the faith, and some are now known – other than by their name recorded in Scripture – only to God. But these co-workers constituted the apostolic teams that took the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Without them, it is difficult to imagine the impact of the first generation of witnesses that went out to change the world. Careless reading of the New Testament can leave us aware of only a few names, but careful attention shows us dozens upon dozens.
What was true for the first generation of pioneering servants of Jesus has been proved true for the ministry of NAMS as well. Almost from the day we began, God has given us co-workers who have assisted us in the challenge of bringing the great Final Command of Jesus back to the center of the church’s life. Some of those co-workers have gone home to the Lord. Some have served with us only briefly. And some, God be praised, are serving with us still.
We pray daily at 10:02 a.m. from Luke 10:2—for “the Lord of the Harvest to raise up laborers to go into the harvest.” We pray that some of them will join the community called NAMS. Neither the Lord nor NAMS mean only “laborers” who will “sell all” and go to foreign lands. God needs “laborers” to be raised up right where each of us lives. There is no place on the face of the earth that has too many servants of the Lord. Nowhere!
What constitutes a “laborer” for the harvest? It is very simple, really: a man or woman who is ready to obey, right where they are. God needs disciple-making disciples everywhere, and there are too few. These are the laborers for the harvest.
For most of us, the journey to even wanting to be a disciple-making disciple, let alone learning to really be one, began very simply and has taken much time. But over and over the beginning has a similar set of steps. We met someone giving their obedience to Jesus and we wanted to be like them. We started to learn how to worship faithfully and serve where we lived. Then we learned that we must grow to take our part in the work, the prayer, and the giving which help spread the kingdom of God.
Co-workers with NAMS have folded fliers, answered phones, created PowerPoint presentations, cared for the children, cooked dinners, picked up the mail, shopped for the food needed on retreat, picked up people at the airport, met for prayer, led worship at training events, licked stamps, designed stationery, and prayed for us when we were sick, discouraged, or almost broken. A few have gone to the ends of the earth with us.
How we thank God for every NAMS co-worker, and how we pray you might become one of them! Will you pray about it? Will you go online today and join us?
— Jon Shuler
15 Nov 2016