Supply And Demand

Thursday, September 8, 2022
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There is an abundance of farmland where we live in southern Ontario, Canada. The farmers grow mostly wheat, corn, soybeans, and hay. Most of the hay is baled in round bales that measure four feet (120 cm) across and five feet (150 cm) in diameter. This summer, as we drove past some of these hay fields, there seemed to be many more bales than in years past. I checked with a couple of farmers, and they confirmed that that is indeed the case — twice as much in some places.

Some of the hay is used by the farmers who have cattle or sheep, but much of it is sold to people who keep horses. In my innocence, I thought that those who sell it would be smiling all the way to the bank, but I was wrong. The price per bale is about half of what it was last year. There is a big surplus, and there are actually hundreds of bales still lying in the fields. It is all about supply and demand, and there is no demand for it right now.

Recently, I had some correspondence with a person knowledgeable about the shortage of ministers of the gospel, and I learned that many of our churches are vacant and have trouble finding worship leaders to fill the pulpit on a Sunday morning. Many programs such as Bible studies and vacation Bible schools have been cancelled because of the lack of leaders. Shut-ins and people in hospitals and long-term care centres are not getting the pastoral visits that they would normally get. Mind you, elders and volunteers continue to do the work of the Lord as much as they are able.

A shortage of workers was also a problem when Jesus was ministering on earth. There was only so much that He could do by Himself.

Matthew 9:35-38 – Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, 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 for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (NKJV)

Immediately after this, Jesus sent His twelve disciples ahead of Him into the towns and villages.

As we see the decline in attendance in our churches and the lack of interest by so many people, young and old alike, it is incumbent on those who are able to bring the gospel to those who want to hear. The supply of leaders may have diminished, but the demand is still there, and paid professionals can do only so much. I believe that the church is being sifted these days. Each of us needs to see where we can serve and step in whenever and wherever we can.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we realize that there is a need for leaders in the church, and we pray that more people will step forward to do Your work. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Joel. Have a blessed day.

    Great post and reminder, Joel! Thanks and blessings!

    Well-said, Joel! Encouraging words for my day! And others. Blessings.

    Thank you for stepping up to fill the gap through devotional writing!

    Thanks for this devotional. We pray for changed hearts and people seeking the Lord.
    Best wishes and blessings to you and your wife.

    Thank you, Joel, for your wise perspective. Sometimes I am critical of the lack of ‘effort’ in our church – but as you say so eloquently, it is more a lack of leadership. Hooray for your devotion and prayers!

    Hello Joel
    Excellent as always.

    Thank you for your thoughtful devotional today. It was a helpful reminder that each one of us is called to minister.
    God bless.

    Thank you, Joel. If only all believers would pay attention to this, our churches would be full:
    Each of us needs to see where we can serve and step in whenever and wherever we can.

    COVID has closed many churches, and many will never open as older members are afraid to leave their homes and find comfort in TV, radio, Zoom. Fellowship found in worshiping together is lacking. Very sad. What can we do? I don’t know.

    Many thanks for your devotional today, Joel. Yes, there surely has been a recent decline in available ministers and church attendance. We have found that with the service put online due to the pandemic, fewer people are attending in person as they can just stay home and watch online at their convenience. Blessings for your writings and for bringing forward the situation of fewer ministers being available.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Unfortunately we have good seminary students who cannot get a job in their denomination because they refuse to preach that God can bless and affirm sin. Others who refuse are being forced out.
    Interesting that we read about the amazement of those hearing unlearned disciples chosen by Jesus, yet we insist on university education for ministers.
    Now the PCC holds congregations hostage by refusing to let them go on their own. God help us!

    Good morning, Joel
    Your Devotional this morning is so true.
    Our Minister of many years retired last week and we are now in the situation of searching for a new Minister. The congregation numbers have been declining but it was so wonderful to see the pews packed with former members returning to say goodbye on his last Sunday.
    Your prayer is so true.

    Thanks for a good and informative word Joel. We had to pay almost double for our hay once again this year. $18.00 per square bale.
    When l was at seminary….many years ago, l was appalled at the number of pastors to be, who made it very clear that they would not pastor a small, rural church or one that paid under a certain amount. Whatever happened to “here am l Lord, send me?” To be called to preach is an honour, but too many see pastoring as a business now, not as servanthood. Very sad.
    Here am l Lord, send me.

    Thanks, Joel, for today’s devotion. It is very timely, in regard to the emptying of the churches, and has given me something to think about.
    Recently, in one of my conversations and diatribes about lack of volunteers in the church, I was informed that if I wanted the younger people to take a role, I had to step back and let them take charge. I have tried very hard to do that, but I don’t see numbers stepping up. I hope that will change, of course. Meanwhile, we must continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
    Thanks again for the motivation, and it is my hope you are keeping well.

    Good morning, Joel,
    My mom’s family were farmers and at one point her dad lost his farm and became a store owner in a small town. Farmers are so dependent on weather conditions and on the market. It is a hard life and also has its rewards. It is interesting how you segued into what is happening in many churches at this time.
    It is at times hard not to worry about decline in our churches, but I think that God is in control, He has a plan. I just don’t know what it is. Yes, we need to continue to do our part and step forward where we can. We need to trust in the Lord and pray for understanding and guidance.
    Thanks for sharing as you continue to step forward to help others. Blessings.

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