Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Getting out of your comfort zone

George Verwer wrote a book with the title Out of the comfort zone. In this book he challenges the typical church-going Christian to stop thinking that other people will take care of missions and to get out of their comfort zone to start doing the work which needs to be done. This is one of the reasons why some people don’t like to get involved in missions. They have to do things, eat things and sleep at places which make them feel uncomfortable. Some years ago I had a team of young people from Fort Lauderdale in Florida who came to Swaziland for a Youth Evangelism Explosion outreach. Before they came, their leader told me that they would like to “rough it” while in Africa. So I thought: “If this is what they want, let’s give them the experience!” We stayed in a place with no hot water (in winter!). If they wanted to wash, we had to heat water on an open fire and then carry it in buckets to a bathroom (without a bath). In the morning I put the whole team on an open 10-ton truck and we hit the dirt roads to reach our destination where they were presenting the Evangelism Explosion course. Afterwards the leader came to me and said: “When I said that we wanted to ‘rough it’, I was thinking of staying in a hotel without cable TV!” He was joking of course, but missions do tend to challenge us at times. Whenever I speak to groups of people about missions, I always make the remark that the most difficult part of missions for me is to stand up from my desk in my study and to get into my car. Once I’m there, it becomes much easier.
I’ve found the same with churches or other individuals who want to get involved in missions. The biggest work is to make that decision to do it. Dreaming about an outreach has its advantage. Everything has to start with a dream. But dreaming won’t make a difference in other people’s lives. Someone has to start planning and then they have to do it. We have to get out of our comfort zone (be it a desk, an office or a TV) if we want to obey God’s commission. To do this, we have to make a decision!

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Saturday, July 7, 2007 - Posted by | Evangelism Explosion, Mission, Theology

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