Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

A Modern-day Parable for the Church

There was an ambitious businessman in a certain city who had built a huge grease factory. People from all over the world came to view this factory once it was completed and in full production and the ambitious businessman was only too pleased to show the visitors the entire process, from the point where coal was offloaded from ships to the point where the grease was eventually pumped into huge tanks.
One day a visitor arrived and asked whether he could be taken on a guided tour through the factory. The owner of the factory escorted the visitor to the outside of the factory where coal from a ship was being offloaded, making use of enormous machines. The coal was then placed onto conveyor belts running on thousands of rollers. From there the coal was dropped into a mill where the large pieces of coal was broken up into smaller pieces. From there the coal ran on lengthy conveyor belts, once again supported by thousands of rollers to the next process and from there to the next and then to the next. The visitor marveled at the conveyor belts crisscrossing throughout the factory with millions of rollers on which these long belts ran.
He also marveled at the huge machines used to break the coal into increasingly smaller particles and the other chemical processes used to eventually convert the coal into usable grease and he marveled at the size of the tanks used to store the grease. He had never seen anything like that in his life. It was mind-boggling.
Afterwards, having a cup of coffee with the owner, the visitor was however puzzled by something. “I’ve seen how the coal is offloaded. I’ve seen the processes through which the coal had to go until it finally became grease. I’ve seen the tanks into which the grease is pumped. The only thing I haven’t seen is your facility from where the grease is dispatched to the consumers.”
“You clearly don’t understand,” the ambitious businessman answered him. “Didn’t you see those huge machines and the millions of rollers on which the conveyor belts run? They need to be greased often to keep them running efficiently. We don’t have any grease left to dispatch!”

Monday, March 15, 2010 - Posted by | Church, Mission, Theology


  1. should one laugh or cry? Your exploration of a question you posed when you visited in Pretoria some months ago, “Do you want to waggle, or wing it?” also comes to mind. To me a church without a heart for missionwork is a church without a mission.

    Comment by Johanna Joubert | Monday, March 15, 2010 | Reply

    God bless you! The Parable is, unfortunately, way too true in the USA.

    Comment by Kathy | Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Reply

  3. Wow Kathy, what a compliment! I’m so glad that you are excited about what I write. I just wish I had more time to do this, but I’m working on it!

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Sunday, March 21, 2010 | Reply

  4. Nice parable, and a good illustration of the mission/maintenance problem.

    Comment by Steve | Monday, March 22, 2010 | Reply

  5. of the many video clips that i download, i always watch those that are very funny :`,

    Comment by Spoon Rest | Saturday, December 4, 2010 | Reply

  6. Hey, you used to write excellent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

    Comment by download novels | Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | Reply

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