When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Matthew 9: 36-37 (New International Version)
There was a twofold reason for the situation which Jesus observes of the people of Israel. On the one hand, absentee landlords exacted a heavy price on the various tenants throughout the land, keeping many people in abject poverty. On the other hand, the religious leaders placed an overwhelming burden of the Law upon the shoulders of the people, with no offer of relief. Into this situation comes the prophet of Galilee--Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus has been busy about the itinerant work that marked His early ministry. Rather than waiting for people to come to Him, our Lord was proactive, and went out to meet them. As He gathered close disciples, He offers them a rhetorical challenge--to be workers for the harvest. Like the Master, this means we must be out where the people are, engage them by meeting their most immediate need, and, in the process, revealing to them the love of God.
This model for ministry has not changed after 2000 years. Sharing God's love is more than simply saying the words, particularly in this social media age. Rather, it means we are out engaging individuals on a daily basis, by sharing the Good News in both word and work. The impact of this work of planting and watering Gospel seeds, allow the God of our redemption to give the increase both in our lives and in theirs.