Do you have what it takes?
6 Nov 2017
Missionaries have a very mixed reputation. They can be revered, loved, avoided or even hated. Missionaries are scoffed at for being old fashioned and out of date. They can be judged for trying to push their own religious agenda on other cultures. They might simply be considered weird. Yet within the church, missionaries are often treated as ‘Super-Christians’, as if they exist on a whole different spiritual level!
But the truth is that missionaries are more like ‘Clark Kent’ than Superman. They are ordinary followers of Jesus with weaknesses and strengths, dreams and fears. Their point of difference is that they have obeyed the command to go. But not all those that go, do well. What makes one ordinary Christian thrive as a missionary, and another struggle? Here are some of the qualities that help to make the best missionaries, according to some experienced missionary mentors on our Pioneers staff ….
- Faith in God. Love for him, a growing relationship with him, and a commitment to follow Christ as Lord in our daily life.
- Humble and teachable. Willing to learn from God and others, and to be honest about our own shortcomings.
- Able to work with others in a team, serving one-another. Accepting those with different opinions to us, and able to resolve conflict in a loving way.
- A clear understanding of the gospel, and a passion to share it with others.
When I read this list to my husband, he commented, “but these are the same qualities that make the best Christians!” Yes, they are. As followers of Jesus we should all be growing more and more like him, whether we live in our passport culture, or somewhere else. Missionaries just take their living, growing faith, and their heart to share it, overseas with them.
So, leave the cape and boots behind, wear your undies on the inside of your clothes, and go out into all the world as ordinary you, with an extraordinary God. Do you have what it takes?