One of my favourite things to do is to work in my garden. God often speaks to me about spiritual things while I am enjoying working. As I weed, fertilize, and water, my thoughts wander to my passion to see disciples multiply among Australian people.
One key principle stands out. If we want to reap a great harvest, we must sow many seeds of the gospel. We need to practice what is called “abundant gospel sowing.”
The principle of abundant gospel sowing is simple, biblical and natural. If you want to reap a great harvest in a region, you must sow many, many gospel seeds. When thousands of people hear the message of good news, hundreds will respond. You cannot expect to reap a great harvest of souls without finding ways to multiply evangelistic efforts. It is a foundational principle of Disciple Making Movements. Sow much, reap much. Sow little, reap little. How much sowing is happening in your region?
A Wise and Foolish Farmer
“Imagine with me for a moment. There was a farmer working in his field. He bought five seeds and went out to plant them. Carefully he dug holes, put the seeds in, and patted down the soil. Then he watered carefully, giving just the right amount of water. The next day he again watered, and the next. After a week, when none of his five seeds had sprouted, he became discouraged. “What am I doing wrong?” he wondered.
“Maybe I am a bad farmer,” he thought. “Or maybe my seed was no good.”
Discouraged, he sat down on a bench and stared at the dirt where he had planted his seeds. His hopes and dreams of harvest seemed impossible.
Along comes a friend who is also a farmer. “What are you doing?” he asks.
“I am frustrated with farming!” declared the first farmer. “I wanted to see a big harvest, and I worked hard to plant my seeds, but none of them have come up. I think there is something wrong with my seed, or maybe with me. Am I a bad farmer?” he asked his friend. “Show me where you planted the seeds,” his friend instructed. The first farmer showed him the five seeds. He explained about his careful watering process each day.
His friend said to him, “You aren’t a bad farmer, and there is probably nothing wrong with your seeds. I know what the problem is here! You didn’t plant enough seeds! If you want to reap a great harvest, you can’t only plant 5 seeds, you have to plant thousands of seeds. Fill the whole field with seeds. In each hole, place 3 seeds not one. Then, you will see many plants come up, and as you care for those, many will bear fruit.” DMM Frontiers “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Cor. 9:6 ESV
Choose a Simple Evangelism Method
The above scripture is talking about giving, but the same is true with our evangelism. Like the first farmer, we hope to see a great harvest of souls in our region. But we don’t always put in the effort to increase the number of people who are hearing the gospel message. This doesn’t make a lot of sense in the natural, nor does it make sense in disciple-making. The best way to increase abundant gospel sowing is to train as many people as possible with simple personal evangelism tools. Then get them to train others. One simple way is for them to share their testimony & another tool is to learn to share a gospel presentation – like 3 circles. You want to develop a DNA in your network where every follower of Jesus actively shares their faith. We have a mandate to be His witnesses. That starts with learning to share our testimony. Train every believer to confidently share how they came to know Jesus, and what He has done in their lives.
Sharing Your Testimony
- Try getting your disciples to share their testimony in three parts.
BEFORE- I met Jesus. What was my life like?
HOW- I met Jesus. Who shared with me and how did I respond?
AFTER- I met Jesus. What was different about my life?
Start by writing out your testimony using this outline. Then practice sharing it with a friend. Try to keep it within three minutes. Get their feedback.
Keep it simple and natural. Avoid preachy words or spiritual cliches. After practising a few times, go out and find someone to share it with. Chat a few minutes first to build a relationship then tell them what your life was like a few years ago.
Sharing your story is powerful. You’d be surprised how many people are open and interested to hear your own story. Set seed sowing goals – how many will you sow this month in Australia? As you share your testimony and train others to do the same, you will identify people who are open to the gospel. When they show interest, set up a time to meet them to share more. Or invite them to join a Discovery Bible Study.