What makes a ripe harvest field? Many of us are living in comfortable suburban homes, and we assume that our neighborhoods will make a great harvest field. But we may be trying to reap a harvest in the wrong places. Jesus gave some indication of what makes a ripe harvest. For example, he said:
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…" (Luke 4:18)
Where will we find these people? They are much more likely to be found in the low-income housing projects than amongst the wealthy. They are more likely to be found in AA groups than in success seminars. In our neighborhoods, where is the couple going through a divorce? How about the family going through bankruptcy? Do you know people who are hurting?
Others who are often open to the message of the Kingdom include New Agers, young people, those living on the streets, or in half-way houses, refugees etc.
Jesus also said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."
Where will we find people who know they are "sinners"?
Obviously we need to be open to wherever the Holy Spirit is leading us, but as a general rule, we are more likely to find hungry people in places where we are not necessarily comfortable. As Neil Cole says, we need to learn to sit in the smoking section."
Another thought: No farmer would consider trying to harvest a field where no seed had been sown. What does it look like to sow seed? Hint. The seed of the kingdom is the word of God (Luke 8:11).