Posted July 23rd, 2006 by E. Goodman
I’ve just finished answering D Birchfiel’s “Seven Questions.” You can read my responses at OKpreacher, assuming that he decides to post them. One of the questions he asks is, “What do you wish Southern Baptists knew about your ministry?” That was the most difficult question for me to answer; not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I had such a hard time narrowing it down to just one (or two…) That, of course, got me thinking about all that I wish the people that send and support me knew about missions in general, and our ministry specifically.
Here’s a list of things I wish you knew:
-We appreciate you. I know that there is no way I would be on the field if it wasn’t for your monetary support, and no way I’d be able to stay here without your prayers.
-Missions is not the same as evangelism. It seems like so many of us confuse the two. Missions is more than gospel proclamation, or even sharing Christ across cultures. It is about incarnational living that demonstrates what life in Christ might look like for people in the host culture. We call it cultural translation, and it’s hard to quantify.
-We cling desperately to emotional, financial, and prayer support that you have committed to us. When we hear about divisive arguing and politics among the people we depend on, it makes us nervous.
-We don’t send three-color printed brochure newsletters anymore. We blog. If you read our blogs, you can get a better idea of what life is like for us.
-We feel like dorks. We are a bunch of nobodies that God sent to other places. Sometimes I wonder if He wasn’t just sparing you from our presence in the States! It makes us uncomfortable that you would allow us to represent you on the mission field.
-We expect you to do the same thing we’re doing. Granted, most of you don’t have to learn a new language, but your job really is the same as ours. Only we have better medical coverage.
-God is working overseas. He’s doing amazing, supernatural things that constantly remind us of His presence and grace. We see it on a regular basis. Forgive us for not consistently sharing it with you, it’s just that sometimes we think you wouldn’t understand.
-We like when you ask questions about our work or otherwise show interest in what we’re doing. It reminds us that we’re part of a bigger family, and that our ministry matters to someone.
So I guess those are some of the things I wish you knew about our ministries. Now you know.
Filed under:Communication, Misunderstood