This morning I challenged the seventeenth graduating class of West Coast Baptist College just moments before their commencement exercises began with a simple thought:

The minute you leave, put your hand to the plow and practice what you have learned.

Our students have spent four years learning—both in classrooms and through hands-on experience—how to serve as diligent laborers in the harvest. They have labored alongside our church family, and they are leaving their studies with a vision to do something great for God.

Yet the ministry requires more than a vision. It requires work.

Jesus said that one who would follow Him as a disciple was committing to “put his hand to the plough” (Luke 9:62).

Paul often referred to the labor of ministry. In the epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy alone, he directly referred to the “work” involved in ministry no less than six times.

Truly, the ministry is labor. Yes, it is rewarding labor; yes, it is joyous labor; yes, it is fulfilling labor. But the benefits don’t come through shortcuts.

Every man or woman who would engage in ministry must do it with a commitment to labor—to roll up their sleeves and personally involve themselves in gathering the harvest.

Please pray for this 2012 graduating class of West Coast Baptist College as they enter the harvest field as diligent laborers. I’m thankful for and am praying for each of them, and I’m looking forward to seeing the Lord use them in His work.

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