World Vision Celebration this week!

As we get ready for our World Vision Celebration I wanted to give you somethings to think about and pray over.  The following is an adaption of Howard Culbertson’s work from the Southern Nazarene University.  I love his mission material and you can check it out at this link.

10 Ways to avoid becoming a missionary

A tongue-in-cheek look at some sure-fire ways to avoid becoming a missionary

  1. Ignore Jesus’ request in John 4:35 that we take a long hard look at the fields. Seeing the needs of people can be depressing and very unsettling. It could lead to genuine missionary concern.  Joh 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
  2. Focus your energies on socially legitimate targets. Go after a bigger salary. Focus on getting a job promotion, a bigger home, a more luxurious car, or future financial security. Along the way, run up some big credit card debts.       Missiologist J. Herbert Kane wrote that a person will enhance the possibility of hearing God’s Call if he or she has:
  1. An open mind
  2. Attentive ear
  3. Pure heart
  4. Busy hands
  5. Ready feet
  1. Take these steps to discover if He is calling you
  1. Read everything about missions and missionaries that you can get your hands on. 
  2. Get involved in the missions mobilization and education program of our church
  3. Go hear every missionary speaker that you can. God sometimes chooses that time to clarify His calling to young people.
  4. Talk to your pastor.
  5. Verbalizing your thinking with him and enlisting his prayer support may help you sort through various issues.
  6. Throw yourself into active ministry through your local church.
  7. Learn to minister effectively in your own culture before you attempt cross-cultural ministry.
  8. Go on a short-term missions trip like you hear offered regularly in our services.  A cross-cultural mission trip will give you a taste of life on the mission field and a good opportunity to sense God’s leadership. 
  9. Consider giving a year or two of volunteer service overseas before deciding whether you should offer the rest of your life. 
  10. Persevere.
    In her book, Ventures of the Heart, Lela Morgan says that early Nazarene missions leader H.F. Reynolds told a young would-be missionary: “Brother Winans, we cannot send you to South America; but if God has called you, you will go or backslide.”
  • Get married to somebody who thinks the “Great Commission” is what your employer gives you after you make a big sale. After marriage, embrace the socially accepted norms of settling down, establishing a respectable career trajectory and raising a picture-perfect family.
  • Stay away from missionaries. Their testimonies can be disturbing. The situations they describe will distract you from embracing whole-heartedly the materialistic lifestyle of your home country.
  • If you happen to think about missions, restrict your attention to countries where it’s impossible to openly do missionary work. Think only about North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China and other closed countries. Forget the vast areas of our globe open to missionaries. Never, never listen to talk about creative access countries.
  • Think how bad a missionary you would be based on your own past failures. It is unreasonable to expect you will ever be any better. Don’t even think about Moses, David, Jonah, Peter or Mark, all of whom overcame failures. 
  • Always imagine missionaries as talented, super-spiritual people who stand on lofty pedestals. Maintaining this image of missionaries will heighten your own sense of inadequacy. Convincing yourself that God does not use ordinary people as missionaries will smother any guilt you may feel about refusing to even listen for a call from God. 
  • Agree with the people who tell you that you are indispensable where you are. Listen when they tell you that your local church or home country can’t do without you. 
  • Worry incessantly about money. 
  • If you still feel you must go, go out right away without any preparation or training. You’ll soon be home again and no one can ever blame you for not trying!

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