Saturday, January 3, 2009

Who Will Go to America?

As promised, we will begin our discussion of the theology of easy believism and the Free Grace camp later this coming week, but for now, please consider the following video.

One of my personal frustrations is the modern concept of missions which is prevalent in much of evangelical Christianity. Denominations and independent missions agencies send Americans around the world to do tasks which are little more than glorified Peace Corps projects and call it "missions." Exorbitant budgets are put together and funds raised so that they can go overseas and pound nails, play soccer or video games, learn a language or go on prayer walks. Very few missionaries are actually expected to evangelize.

I know this from my personal experience as a pastor and a former missionary candidate with an evangelical mission. The mission required that I raise a minimum of $60,000 a year to live in a nation where the average annual income was about $1200 a year. In my budget, there was no line item for evangelism outreach. It was supposed to be included under the "miscellaneous" expenses ($200 a year). What's worse is that in a few years, our budget would be reviewed and raised (mandatory) to about $75,000 a year. At that point we would be expected to write home and tell our supporters that our support level was low and we needed additional support.

In our present ministry, we are missionaries to America (primarily). We use Acts 1:8 as our model for ministry and are blessed to see this model fulfilled in the last year. We've taken the Gospel to our Jerusalem (Justin, TX), Judea (Dallas\Fort Worth), Samaria (the United States) and the uttermost parts of the earth (Australia). Lord willing, we'll see this same model fulfilled in the coming year. Our primary field of labor has been DFW, but the Lord opens doors elsewhere when you're faithful where you are.

With this in mind, check out this video. There's a lot of truth behind it.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

Couldn't view the video as the computer I'm using doesn't allow it. Nonetheless, am very much in agreement with your views on modern trends in 'missions' - whether full-time workers or student trips.

Would be interested to hear arguments from other missionaries about the wisdom of bringing people from Western countries for the purpose of constructing/renovating buildings, and things like that. I'm sure there are many cases where it has been needed, but I wonder if there are even more cases where it would have been wiser (and cheaper) to use local help, and hence build the bridges into the local communities that need to be evangelised.

In my opinion, too many young and sincere believers are drawn into the conviction that a mission trip abroad is the height of spiritual obedience and growth. Few churches encourage their youth to stay at home, study God's word, know His will, and ONLY THEN act upon it.

Your example of salaries for missionaries also sounds remarkably familiar. I know of one very well-respected fundamental evangelical mission that won't send a missionary overseas until 100% of their salary is guaranteed by support at home. Where is the faith in Jehovah-Jireh?

The church needs more George Mullers.