There’s a virus that going around the world. It’s a dangerous virus that could change your life. Unlike most other viruses, I hope you catch it.
This virus is the 10:2b virus. It comes from Luke 10 and verse 2.
These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
The 10:2b virus started when a couple of friends of ours, John White and Kenny Moore, were discussing one morning over breakfast how to find more church planters for their state. As they chatted, they remembered the verse in Luke 10 where Jesus commanded the disciples (both the 12 and the 72) to pray the Lord of the harvest to send out more laborers into the harvest. They decided to try it for a week–calling each other daily on the phone. The week extended into months and eventually years of prayer together on a daily basis.
The results were so life-changing in terms of the number of people starting churches in their state as a specific answer to this prayer, they knew it needed to spread. And so the idea of the Luke 10:2b virus was born. As John and Kenny told their story everywhere, others joined them, praying in pairs daily over the phone that the Lord of the harvest would thrust out more laborers into the harvest. Many people set the alarm on their phone for 10:02 am or pm to remind them to pray.
Luke 10:2 comes from Jesus teaching to his disciples on how to reach out to others. Luke 10 is a foundational passage for disciple-making and church planting movements around the world.
- According to Jesus, the problem isn’t the harvest. In another place, Jesus says to the disciples, “You say there are still 4 months left until harvest, but I tell you, the harvest is ready now” (paraphrase of John 4:35). We give God excuses as to why the harvest isn’t ready–”My area is too hard, no one is interested,” As soon as I finish this, (think of an excuse) I’ll go out and find a ripe field.” But the Lord of the harvest says, “Now’s the time!”
- The real problem is too few workers. But hold on. Jesus had 72+12= 84 workers. That’s 42 pairs of people who were going out into the harvest. Surely that’s enough! If we had that number of committed church planting teams here in our area, we’d be thrilled. But according to Jesus, that’s inadequate for the task. It reminds me of the old story. How do you get a herd of cows to produce more milk? Do you feed them better food, give them extra vitamins, play them soothing music in their stalls? That might help a little (well the food and vitamins, anyway). No, the best way to significantly increase milk production is to add more cows to your herd! It’s a bit like this here. It’s easier to see more harvest by increasing the number of workers than by trying to persuade the existing ones to work harder or smarter.
- Jesus’ solution to the problem is this: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out more workers into the harvest. We are to pray (beseech, beg) the Lord to send out more workers. The Greek word used her for “send out” is ekballo which has an element of violence in it. It’s the word used for casting out a demon. This is not a quiet, gentle prayer. It’s a violent, take it by force prayer.
We won’t see a disciple-making movement without a prayer movement.