Matthew 9:35-38 (KJV)

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.


The Ecumenical Council of Bishops and Apostolic Leadership (ECOBAL) is hosting their Inaugural Holy Convocation, June 21-23 (251 W 1st Street, Mt. Vernon, NY 10553 — 7:15pm nightly). They are planning for three days and nights of teaching, prayer, prophetic impartation, worship, music and much more. Should you attend, you will not receive a doctorate in ministry, a master’s of divinity, you won’t even get a formal certification. What you will get is the preparation needed to be a laborer who will go out and reap the harvest. What you will get is knowledge and encouragement to tell people about a God who loves them and wants to heal and to bless them.


I have seen the theologically uneducated, as well as the individual with the highest level of ecumenical education radically impact the world for good. Then there are others with and without education who reap no harvest. You might be one of those who can impact the world with little to no teaching, but why take that chance? It is far better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. When you know that all of your help, all of your healing, all of your blessings comes from Jesus, you are no longer without a Shepard.
When Matthew penned the words in our text, he made it a point to emphasize that Jesus went to the cities, the villages, and into the synagogues to teach! He didn’t go into the educational facilities to teach, He went into the religious institutions. Although there are many learning opportunities in the church, ECOBAL’s convocation provides a forum for ecumenical enlightenment under one roof that will enhance your understanding of being a laborer for the harvest.


Just imagine what he saw in the synagogue; people who were sick and diseased; people who were suffering. He went into the villages and the cities, but the text suggests that He found the sick, diseased and lost in the synagogue, in the church. He found a bunch of people that should have been righteous, yet they needed to be healed and they needed to be taught because they were bewildered and helpless. Matthew says that they were like sheep without a shepherd. How could they reap a harvest outside of the church if they were sterile in the church? Any wonder why Jesus said “The harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few!”


But Jesus had compassion. The righteous in the synagogues had to be taught and healed in order for them to be ready for the harvest. You might need the prophetic impartation of healing before you can be a participant in the harvest. You just might find both in ECOBAL’s inaugural convocation. I encourage you to never miss an opportunity to prepare yourself for the harvest. Jesus is still looking for laborers.


Be Blessed!

20161113_JLRussellRev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at You can also use the email to order his new book, Matters of Faith: The Book.

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