“Enthusiasm and passion may help someone succeed in getting to the field. Yet when the newness of ministry wanes, the exotic character of overseas living becomes humdrum, and once friendly relationships begin to deteriorate, much more will be needed.
David Hesselgrave reminds missionary candidates that “the first ten thousand miles in mission are relatively easy. It is the last eighteen inches that are difficult” The sense of urgency is undeniable and admirable, but there must not only be the urgency to go but the willingness to wait and be properly prepared.”-Steve Davis
I recently read this quote and I found it to be true. It also got me thinking. I began to think about the polar opposites of what a person may experience when they are sorting through the thoughts about potentially working as a cross cultural “missionary.”
On one hand there is a push to “go to the field” because of the great needs of the world and the reality of the “laborers” being few and far between. This is true, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are part of the solution. In our passion, we may be contributing to the problem if we are inadequately prepared and prematurely sent.
On the other hand, in some circles there is hardly even the mention of this type of work being a legitimate expression of ministry today, no opportunities presented as an entry way into it, and no structures in place to train and get qualified candidates out to where the need is great.
I want to take a few posts and explore some of these issues as well as what preparation looks like for those who are sensing a draw towards working cross culturally in ministry.
I also want to touch on what I am seeing in regards to certain trends I am seeing in mindsets in the local churches of the West in regards to what missions work is and how it is to be accomplished.
I do believe we need much more than zeal and romanticism. It might get us “there”, but in the long run, it will not sustain us. We need real preparation and that takes time and forethought. Just like anything else in life that is worth accomplishing, it will take sacrifice and a willingness to “pay the price.”
What are some of the issues that you have experienced surrounding some of these thoughts? What would you like to see discussed?
I am no expert by any stretch, but I write as part of my passion and from my experience with the hope of seeing more qualified people from any and all nations fill in the gaps in the Global church, where it is needed most; then be able to stay, be successful, and sustained once they are in place.