Every farmer knows that he must sow the seed before he harvests the crop. He also knows that his harvest will be in direct proportion to not only the amount of seed he plants, but also in the wisdom he uses in planning and preparing the field from sowing time to harvest. Missionaries need to use the same wisdom in planting the Gospel seed. Not only how much we plant is important, but the planning and preparing of the field will be a factor during harvest time.
There are two things I have learned from God that are important in Seed Planting, and they come from the type He gives about us becoming "Fishers of men"(Mark 1:17). First you have to find where the fish are biting, and then you have to use the right tactic (ie. bait and method) to catch them.
To find out where the fish are biting, where people are hungry for the gospel, you can use advertise the gospel through tract distribution, newspaper and magazine ads, or radio spots. These ads would all offer a free Bible Correspondence course. If there are no responses to any of these ads, then you know that the fish arenít biting. The effort will not be in vain, for Godís Word will always accomplish what He pleases. In Isaiah 55:11 God promises, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it."
Secondly, you can see what method or bait will work by seeing what type of advertising works in that area. This can be accomplished by seeing what successful local merchants are using to advertise their products and services. I also like the illustration of a fisherman with four hooks on one fishing line. He is likely to catch more fish than a fellow with one hook on one fishing line. A missionary can do this by using every avenue possible to get out the gospel. Donít limit yourself to only one method, but be willing to try every legitimate way possible to spread the gospel message. After a time, youíll see which methods work best in your area, and you can continue using those. Ecclesiastes 11:1 seems to fit this overall method perfectly: "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days."
In a large area or city, you can locate areas of good prospects (for church planting) through tract distribution or other advertising method city-wide, then the areas which get the most responses should be considered for planting a church.
We have found large scale tract distribution, street preaching and newspaper ads to be the most effective means of reaching new folks in Thailand. Each of these methods offers a free Bible correspondence course, and of course, new people can be reached through those taking the correspondence course.
Samples of newspaper ads and the correspondence course will be given in this booklet. Also I have prepared a correspondence course program for IBM compatible computers. With this program you can run any size course and it can be customized for the needs of any mission outreach. This program is free to anyone who can use it.
The most important factor in sowing the seed is to be faithful. No farmer harvests a crop the day after he plants it. Some mission fields give a harvest in a few weeks or months. Others may take years. Just remember that if God has called you, He called you for a reason. That reason: remain faithful until the harvest time.