True and illustrious husbandman of the field of the Gospel,/whose seeds are seen to be the Gospels of Christ/which, with his godly mouth, he sows in the ears of the wise,/ploughing their hearts and minds with the Holy Spirit.
- Sechnall, Audite Omnes Amantes (Irish, 5th century)
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
- 1 Corinthians 3.5, 6
Sechnall was writing about Patrick, whom he regarded as a faithful "husbandman of the field of the Gospel." Patrick sowed the Gospel of Christ through his preaching and teaching. He appealed to the minds and hearts of those to whom he came. He spoke and taught, but he pled with God on behalf of the people he served, that the Spirit might work salvation in their souls.
We are all "husbandmen" - field hands - in the Gospel field. Each of us has been assigned a mission field from the Lord which we must sow, cultivate, and guard until the Lord brings forth the fruit He intends. Our "seeds" are the same as Patrick's - the Gospel of the Kingdom in all its breadth and richness, aimed at the hearts, minds, and lives of the people we see week-in and week-out.
How's that work going? Are we sowing faithfully? Diligently? Prayerfully? Sowing is a little by little affair, and it must be done consistently and continuously if any of the seed is to take root. As we work at getting to know people, praying for them, showing them the love of Christ, and engaging them in conversation, we will see doors of opportunity crack open before us through which we might sow some small seed of Gospel truth. The Lord will take it from there.
But we must be faithful. Do you even know the boundaries of your Personal Mission Field? Are you working as a faithful field hand to prepare the soil of people's hearts for the seed of the Gospel you intend to sow?
We will all give account of the work we have done for the sake of the Gospel. But let's not wait until that great day. Find a prayer partner, someone who will encourage you and hold you accountable for reaching out to the people around you like Patrick did, and whom you can encourage and hold accountable as well. Download our Personal Mission Field brochure and work through it together. Then take up the work of a field hand for Christ, faithfully, like Patrick, sowing and cultivating and waiting on the Lord to bring the fruit.
If we don't take up this work, who will? If the seeds of the Gospel are not sown by us in our Personal Mission Field, who will do it?
God has called us, brethren. Let's strive to be faithful, like Patrick.