Abundance vs Scarcity

We never seem to have enough leaders. I work for an organization that is always graduating the best leaders. That’s right, I work for a campus ministry, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Every year our best leaders graduate and move on to living life. It is how it is supposed to work. But sometimes I wish I could keep them. Forever!  In fact, that’s part of my job now.  I recruit our best student leaders to work with InterVarsity long-term.  We have a constant need for new leaders and it seems to be part of the reason we never seem to have enough leaders.

I recently received an e-mail from a friend who is a recruiter in another mission organization.  In the e-mail my friend’s wrote that it seems as though we are recruiting the same students.  They run summer short-term projects, we run short-term summer projects.  We want long-term workers on the campus, they want long-term workers on the field.  It would seem as though we are in competition!  He asked the question, what can we do?

So is each christian organization competing with every other christian organization for the same students?  We’re supposed to be serving the same God with the same Great Commission.  I think it is a great question.  I often get the same question asked about multiple campus ministries on one campus.  We could say the same thing about multiple churches in the same area.  So what is our response?

We could say we are competitors. I believe that we can work together to reach the larger audience and recognize the greater purpose of reaching the lost.  There are plenty of people out there.  Too often we find ourselves using the scarcity principle.  The scarcity principle says that there are not enough resources available for the work we have to do.  That’s not what I read in scripture.  Matthew 9:37-38 says

37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

I tend to stop at verse 37.  “but the workers are few.”  Instead we can continue on to verse 38 which tells us to Ask!  In Romans 5: 17, God tells us, “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

I believe that God is an abundant God.  I believe that if God wants the work done that he will provide the workers.  Sometimes we train leaders in InterVarsity and the leave to go lead a successful church plant.  Sometimes we train students and they become a cross-cultural missionary.  Sometimes we train a student and they leave our fellowship to be a part of another fellowship on campus.  While the later of those doesn’t make me feel good.  I check in with the other campus pastor to make sure they’re plugged in and making a kingdom difference and then I move on to training the next leader God has entrusted to me.

I’m still growing in this area.  Right now I don’t have any staff for four of the schools that I am responsible for supervising.  I need to trust that God will answer the requests for more laborers.  Sometimes I am tempted to do it on my own.  I try to build the Kingdom of Brian.  But God is calling me, he is calling us to build the kingdom of God.  I want to be a part of building the Kingdom of God.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers to his harvest fields!

What do you think?  Where do you struggle with believing that God is abundant and can provide all of your needs?

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