Why Must the Laborers Be Few? by Jordan Scott

Why Must the Laborers Be Few? by Jordan Scott

My family cannot say that we were called by God to the Kurdish people. Four years ago, I didn’t even know who they were. However, my wife and I both bought into Jesus’ name being made famous where it was not. Then, some of my closest Christian friends decided to move to Kurdistan, and their decision that really helped direct my steps. That’s how my wife and two daughters ended up here. No audible voice from God, no highlight on a map, no specific burden for the Kurdish people—just a young, passionate family who loves the Lord and wants others to love Him too.

I recently drove into East Mosul with a team for a food and water distribution. As we were passing out packages of food, we would see families sitting next to the goods while another family member would go find a wheelbarrow to transport it. I see this one kid, about seven years old, sitting next to four cases of water. And a few feet away I see another kid, same age, sitting on the ground with nothing next to him.

If you were on the distribution with us that day, who would you give your water to?

America is sitting next to four centuries of “water”—four hundred years of access to the Gospel. The Kurds aren’t. I’ll let you make the choice.

Read complete article here:



I came across the above article at a very opportune time. The fact that it was written only a day or two ago makes it seem even more significant.

Recently many of my posts have been addressing Christian attitudes to Muslims, something that has concerned me since seeing some of the hateful things written about Muslims, even by those considered to Christian teachers. (What kind of Christian witness do those attitudes display?)

After publishing those posts I’ve received some (well-meaning) advice: that I’ve been venturing into risky territory; that ministry to Muslims requires a special calling.

Firstly, I’ve never considered myself to have (or need) a special calling to minister to any particular group of people, Muslim or otherwise, and I’ve never considered myself limited to addressing one particular group above another, (most of what I’ve posted hasn’t been directed at Muslims anyway – but to Christians who’ve taken a very un-Christlike approach to Muslims).

I try to deal with opportunities and confront issues as they  arise. I don’t believe I need to wait for a special calling to do so, and I don’t believe that the average Christian needs any special calling to permit them to act on whatever opportunities they find right in front of them.

Too many of us can be like the servant who chose to bury the money (“talent”) he was given by his Master, too afraid of doing the wrong thing and losing it, to put it to use and potentially make a profit for his Master.
Matt 25:14-30

We wait around for that assumed special, individual calling and in doing so miss the general universal calling of all believers. We rationalise our avoidance of certain possible actions with the excuse: “it’s not my calling”.

I know I wasted most of my Christian life avoiding so many opportunities that will never open up again. I look back and see so many possibilities that I didn’t act on – not because I wasn’t “called” to take them, but because they may have been inconvenient or caused discomfort: basically through fear of losing something I didn’t really want to give up.

I replied to that well-meaning advice I mentioned earlier by referring to the book of Acts and some of the experiences of Paul. Those experiences are also cited in the above article.

 If the Lord doesn’t want you to go, He’ll stop you the way He stopped Paul in Asia.

(Acts 16:6-7 )


Am I denying that there ARE some special callings for particular people?

No – it’s clear that Paul was called to be the apostle to the gentiles, and God appoints some people to particular roles and tasks within His church and in the world; but we should not allow that fact to hold us back from general obedience to what he has commissioned His followers to do, when the need is clear and while we have the opportunity to do it. And if we are faithful doing that, we’ll find more opportunities opening up.


4 thoughts on “Why Must the Laborers Be Few? by Jordan Scott

  1. http://biblehub.com/matthew/24-6.htm

    …. deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes ….

    I looked this up because it was referenced in another article at the site you linked to here.
    http://www.faimission.org/articles/2017/8/5/what-will-become-of-mosul I was hoping to find what I was also thinking in my head, that things happen but there is hell to pay for those who make them happen [okay, I took a liberty there and paraphrased “woe to them who…”] wittingly, purposely [unrepentantly]…

    I didn’t find what I was looking for at this address [mat 24:6] (it is, though, in the Bible — which would be easy enough to find, but — no, I didn’t keep looking for it).

    Sometimes when I go to sites like this [biblehub and similar resources], I find other verses associated that are obvious. Then sometimes the chosen connections are illuminating. I think sometimes the “connections” are tenuous (and based on mistaken traditional theology). This time, I found things that were surprising (and some I’m sort of ignoring, but a few are sparking neurons).

    Matthew 2:3
    When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
    {Remember the herodians were a line of false converts (from an enemy nation against Israel, Edom),
    heretical “converts” — as if “Jews” — which enabled them, under Rome, to rule from Jerusalem.}

    Mark 13:7
    When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come.

    Revelation 6:4
    Then another horse went forth. It was bright red, and its rider was granted permission to take peace from the earth and to make men slay one another. And he was given a great sword.

    …16though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. 17″Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ 18even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered.…

    Zephaniah 1:3
    “I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky And the fish of the sea, And the ruins along with the wicked; And I will cut off man from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.
    [Does anyone know for sure what “the ruins along with the wicked” means? My first “take” was, for the ruins, the defeated or subjugated people. It seems to me the wicked in a corrupt society are those who are dominant. (Even if that’s true, the word could mean something else in this sentence or context.)

    And in some of the verses I skimmed across, in my linking and linking, it was said that both the good and bad (I’m paraphrasing) people would be wiped out.

    From my observation, this is similar to when a “generation” is pondered. The generation is those who are responsible at the time. (Not everyone has the power that is in control.)]

    Somehow, when I was going through all this, I came to an answer on something I’ve been considering. I’d thought about asking, for conversation’s sake in the past week or two or so, what the difference is between wiping the dust off one’s feet and Pilate taking water and washing his hands. [I , obviously, never got around to asking it.] So, I see that the difference is we need to be aware what we are responsible for (especially)* or can influence; we may be permitted (or even advised) to stop doing something where we don’t have defined authority and aren’t making headway through proper channels or methods. Pilate was imbued with authority and took (or tried or pretended to take) an “easier” [worse and actually not easier in the long run] path.

    There is someone with whom I’ve been interacting [online elsewhere] who is stubborn (but representative, so to speak, also of a stubborn faction in our culture — a largely Christian faction). I have felt like there is a way to go with this person (at least for me) that is somewhere between the picture with the hands and the one with the feet. I don’t think it’s “between” in the sense of qualitatively, like if I were a little bit responsible or authoritative (while I might be incorrect and will continue to think of it some — perhaps, for instance, we do have nondescript areas of authority in our culture as it isn’t the same as Roman culture). But just that the indicated motion for the way to go, I think, is a somewhat different picture. My sense has been that I’m wiping dirt of my hands (rather than feet). So, then you go on to something else.

    [I don’t know, for sure whether the dust is only about spending time and energy and breath and hope on him (a religious leader, apparently — and well versed in that realm where I don’t conflict with him), or whether also per working any longer to break through to people in the movement (which he is part of, political — where he is either blind or disingenuous or worse (or, “d,” all the above).]

    * What you are responsible for, you can’t wash from your hands. What you can influence or do have power in, you probably shouldn’t try to wipe from them (or maybe would have to wash, while that’s not a great idea either, rather than only wipe). What you don’t have a say over, there’s likely a time to be done (to wipe the hands or feet).

    I already knew this, but I had to think it through
    explicitly with regard to consideration of Bible references.

  2. A brief note, for what it’s worth, that it occurred to me the boy sitting with the gobs of water would be taken by many in the Christianity around us as the one who used his talent well and “got his” (payoff), deserving more. It’s interesting that the writer doesn’t come out and say which boy he would help.

    I take him to mean he would help the boy who doesn’t have water.

    In fact, I think it’s pretty obvious.
    [But the movement I referred to is “conservatism” (so called).]
    {As for individual people, there could be different reasons why a boy would be sitting there having given up or not bothered at all or lost out in violent melee. He might be sulking or insolent, or might be less inclined to violence. (And maybe none of that matters because the need is water… and the gospel.)}

  3. Iraqi Flags Gone, Kurds Move Toward Independence
    coverage/commentary by The Young Turks

    Why Is Turkey Bombing A US Ally?
    The Young Turks

    Exclusive: ‘No turning back’ on independence vote,
    Iraqi Kurdish leader tells FRANCE 24
    Interview in English, translation of Barzani

    President Masoud Barzani said Iraq risks a return to dictatorship…
    (This begins with what I take as the Kurdish national anthem.)

    Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdish Region of Iraq

    President Masoud Barzani has Meeting
    with Exxon Mobil in Washington DC

    President Barzani interview on Dubai TV

    — a Kerry visit to Kurdistan
    [There are many videos of the Kurdish leader meeting with
    governments officials; I didn’t want to try to
    collect them all. He’s been in the Oval Office as
    a dignitary. He’s been welcomed by France, etc… I
    am sharing this one because it shows something other
    than the dessert and jeeps/hummers/etc. in the Kurdistan area.]

  4. I noticed, after I posted [in addition to a spelling error on my part], that the last link I gave above renders a message that it’s unavailable; don’t know how that happened. Oh, well.

    Here are a few additional interesting videos:

    Global Ethics Forum: The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East
    Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

    Middle East Files – Kurdish statehood: An Israeli wish (P.1)
    PressTV News Videos

    Middle East Files – Kurdish statehood: An Israeli wish (P.2)
    PressTV News Videos

    Living Between Two Worlds – Growing Up Multicultural

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