We need more workers. Because there are not enough workers in the harvest.
In an interview with a long-term worker laboring among an unreached people group in East Asia today, I asked: “What are the obstacles to the Gospel getting out among this people group?”
His answer: “Not enough workers. They are receptive, but they have too little contact with Christians. Especially Christians of their own culture.” (But you need workers of any kind–foreign or local–to see those first believers discipled.)
Workers aren’t that common. And some argue churches should send fewer workers, not more (largely because sending more workers results in quantity at a loss of quality).
There are 100 cities in America with populations of over 100,000. (I use America as an example; this can work anywhere else.) If 100 churches in each of these cities each sent one worker to the unreached–that would be 10,000 workers.
Double the size of the IMB (and larger than Wycliffe).
Yet just one worker per church. and for a city of 100,000, 100 workers represents 0.1% of the population. These are needles in the haystack.
How will mobilizers are to find people who are essentially 1-in-10,000?
To find needles, you need magnets. So if you are a city-wide mobilizer seeking more workers for the harvest, may I suggest one of your first goals should be to build a network of magnets in the individual churches.
You need recommenders. People who are not full-time mobilizers, but who are mission-passionate and regularly around other Christians. People who are can see potential candidates and take them out for a cup of coffee. Curators of candidates.
Rather than constantly trying to do things that attract candidates or argue with people about becoming candidates – why not focus on building a network of “candidate radar stations”?
Get yourself a list of the churches in your city, and ask yourself: how might I find the mission magnets in each church? The people who will be there for years and will be watching, waiting, praying for potential candidates?