It all began with the stark reality that you need more space. Your family grew and your house seemed to shrink. On a sleepless night, you binge-watch HGTV and you see the allure of open-concept living complete with shiplap, marble countertops, and lots more room. Suddenly, you remember a term your dad talked about, “Sweat Equity!” It came like a sudden eureka! “I can self-contract and build my dream house!” All you need to do is watch some DIY videos on YouTube, invest a little good old-fashioned sweat equity and voila – you’re doing a live broadcast with Chip and Joanna Gaines on the front lawn of your new home. However, you soon discover it takes more than a little sweat equity – it takes barrels of it. And there’s no way to avoid it – no sweat equity – no dream house.
Jesus tells us the harvest is plentiful but the laborers – not so much. By definition labor implies sweat equity. It will take effort, lots of effort, to gather the promised harvest. It’s not always fun. We have to be willing the get our hands dirty. It takes time, usually more than we planned. We have to understand that we will never gather the harvest Jesus has prepared unless we’re willing to invest some sweat equity. No sweat equity – no harvest.
Without question our numbers are down. Most, if not all, of the major indicators tell us we have fewer people in worship. Fewer people in Sunday School and small groups. Fewer people being baptized. However, the issue is not the people who are not coming – it’s the lack of people who are going.
Why is sweat equity so important?
- Sweat equity indicates value. When you believe that something or someone has value, you’re willing to invest your time and effort to secure them. Your sweat equity tells them they are important. If we want to see people saved, baptized and set on the road to discipleship, it’s going to cost us something.
- Sweat equity requires desire.The old sports adage says “you have to want it.” We talk about the harvest. We study the harvest. We gaze at the harvest. But do we really want it? If so, this God-honoring desire will drive us to invest our sweat equity to bring in the ready harvest.
- Sweat equity yields an exciting reward. All of the prayers, all of the effort is worth it when the harvest responds to God’s gift of grace! The angels celebrate. Hearts are changed. Families restored. The pews begin to fill up with new people. It’s rewarding to those who go as well as those who come.
In February 2019, Louisiana Baptists launched a statewide effort to seed God’s truth inside every heart and every home almost every day. Literally hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have had a seed of God’s truth sown in their hearts through Here for You, Louisiana Baptists multi-media evangelism strategy. Scripture-based commercials have aired during the Super Bowl, the Final Four and on broadcast TV. Social media and our partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Internet Evangelism strategy are engaging people on their smart phones, tablets and computers. Billboards dot the landscape of some of our smaller cities and rural areas letting people know Louisiana Baptists are “Here for You.”
Only one question remains, are we willing to invest the sweat equity required to gather the harvest these efforts can generate? God will not waste His Word so let’s not waste this opportunity.
Visit HereforYou.org and share your favorite commercial with your “ONE” and others via your social media platforms. Pray for people to see the billboards, the commercials and visit the website and view the gospel presentation. Discover how your church can connect with Here for You by visiting LouisianaBaptists.org/HereForYou and entering the password, luke1432. There you’ll find specific ways, ideas, and resources you can use to help your community make the connection with your church and ultimately, the Gospel.
You can also dig deep and give some “lagniappe” to the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering (GeorgiaBarnette.org/Giving). A portion of this offering goes toward the Here For You multimedia strategy.
The harvest is waiting – just as Jesus promised – for those willing to invest the sweat equity to bring them in. Who’s up for a little perspiration?