The labor of the Gospel is the labor of sowing seed. The seed is the imperishable doctrine of Christ, and His ministers are privileged to share in this service. We scatter the Word. For many who hear it, there is no lasting benefit. For others, there is. And when it does, it bears fruit – thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.
This dissemination is both narrow and systematic on the one hand, yet broad and sporadic on the other. In recent years, I’ve been quite taken with the narrow and systematic type of dissemination. It’s the main focus of this blog, a focus that seems to have been lost in contemporary Reformed evangelism. The modern day ministry ought to reengage in localized, systematic district visitation. We ought to rediscover and reapply the old parish principle amid the disarray of the American, market-governed scene. Without focus and system, we will not subdue the inheritance of Christ.
And yet, this model isn’t everything. The parish plan is not the evangelistic silver bullet. Dissemination is also broad and sporadic. We must preach the Gospel indiscriminately. Not just to folks in parishes that we define and adopt. But folks passing through, on the bus, at work, on the plane – even on the (cough!) information superhighway. Folks we will likely never see again, but folks who, having the imperishable seed planted in their souls, might take root where they land.
Both approaches are necessary, and both are complementary. Who knows what God will do? Let us sow narrowly and sow broadly. Let us sow systematically and let us sow sporadically.
And once we have sown, let us look to God who alone gives the increase.