Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Getting involved in God’s Mission

I’m not sure who coined the phrase that we should get involved in the places where God is already working, but Dr Henry Blackaby probably popularised the phrase to a great extent through his book: Experiencing God. During the week I attended an informal meeting where someone had been sharing the vision that she believes that God wants to send 1000 missionaries into the world from our town. The background to this is a process that has been going on for close to 10 years where churches from different denominations, from different social backgrounds and from different race groups, had increasingly been taking hands, finding ways to trust each other and working together on specific terrains where issues like doctrinal difference played a lesser role. This vision of sending out 1000 missionaries was thus born within this fairly unique Christian community.
That said, I would be dishonest if I claimed that I am totally at ease with this vision. Obviously, if this is really from God, then I will support it. But thinking about this vision, I ask myself the question whether, when planning to start with missions, some time should not be spent in researching existing mission projects and finding ways to link with this, before sending out missionaries into a new field? To start a mission project, a huge investment has to be made, (if we want the work to be sustainable). Proper training for the prospective missionary and his family. (This in itself could become a future topic to write about!) Getting the family established in the mission field, will cost some more. Supporting them in order to do the work needs long-term planning. We cannot send someone into the mission field and after a year or two let them know that they will no longer be supported. The education of their children may become another issue. Ensuring that they can return home from time to time to give report back but also to have time to relax is something else which have to be budgeted for. To have a dream or a vision of sending 1000 people into the mission field is wonderful. But they cannot be sent out without support. And I think that few “home churches” realise the immense responsibility they have if they want to follow this route. Not that I would discourage it! Far from it. But then it would probably be more feasible to start with one family, getting them properly established where they need to work, ensuring that they have all the support they need to be able to do the work and after proper evaluation, proceeding to the next project.
This is the reason why I’m wondering if churches could not, at the same time, also get more involved in existing missionary projects. By strengthening the support basis of people already in the mission field, we can assure that the work is being done in more than one place and churches can immediately become part of a much bigger family of missionaries.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - Posted by | Mission, Support teams

1 Comment »

  1. […] a missionary into the mission field In my previous post, Getting involved in God’s Mission, I mentioned the responsibility of the “sending” church to ensure that “their missionary” […]

    Pingback by Sending a missionary into the mission field « Mission Issues | Thursday, June 14, 2007 | Reply

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