by John O’Malley
“Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers” (Ruth 2:5).
Upon his arrival from Bethlehem-judah, Boaz viewed all the harvest activity. He inspected the condition of the harvest. He identified the condition of the harvesters. He expressed interest in the conduct of the harvesters.
Boaz specifically chose the servant that he had set over the reapers. This servant was the one who managed his affairs in the harvest. This servant was the one who managed the activities of the harvest. This servant was the one to whom Boaz would turn for his information. This servant would deliver Boaz’s instructions. This servant was expected to handle Boaz’s interests in the harvest. Out in the field, this servant was to act on behalf of Boaz in all harvest matters.
What a thrill to be the one selected by Boaz! This servant had many details to maintain for Boaz. He had to see that there were enough harvesters. He looked after the harvester’s actions, both on and off the field. As servant set over the reapers, he was to be concerned with their well-being in the harvest field. He was to see that they would have times of reaping and times of rest. He would provide both refreshment and fellowship as they served in the field. He was a servant to the reapers.
Every church (a called out assembly of immersed believers observing the two ordinances and meeting regularly for worship, work, and witnessing) must identify and accept its assigned role in the spiritual harvest of souls. Each church is assigned by God to be a servant “set over the reapers.” It is the job of the church to instill, install, and instruct harvesters in the work of the Lord of the harvest.
The reapers of a church are the missionaries she sends out. Each church is responsible to the Lord of the harvest for their attentiveness toward the reapers. Each church must see that their reapers have both times of reaping and rest. Each church must see that the reapers get the fellowship and refreshment they need.
A church cannot be a church without missionaries. Missionaries cannot be reapers unless they have churches. This understanding defines a clear role for each church; a church is to be a servant to the reapers.
How well are we doing our job as church members in serving our reapers? The authority in modern missions seems to have been wrongly relegated by churches and given to boards, committees, and councils. It is the church that is to be the servant to the reapers, both in authority over the reapers and in attentiveness toward the reapers.