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Should you be a missioner?

by on May 3, 2010 people say to me things like, ‘I’m not sure if I’m the right sort of person to join your team, because X.’

X can be all sorts of things – too old, too young, finances, gifts (or perceived lack of), young kids, health issues, work pressures, etc. Most people have an X. For some, it’s a comfortable way out of having to consider doing mission. But for others the doubts are genuine.

So who should get involved? What sort of person is the right sort to do cross-cultural mission in Sydney?

For our team, we are looking for:

  • people who love Jesus and his gospel. This is the main thing by far. Most people in the Georges River region don’t even know an evangelical Christian. Just being there as a Christian will make an impact.
  • people who have a heart for people. We want to create a church culture where it’s normal for every member to be involved in reaching out to the people of Canterbury in some way or other each week. The people in this area are so unreached, any sort of connection makes an enormous  impact. We need people who want to do that.
  • people who are culturally flexible. We will need to translate our faith into a multi-ethnic setting. That means  learning  new expressions of our faith, new styles of living and meeting and worship as a church. We need the sort of people who don’t mind when the service structure is different from normal, or if some of the songs aren’t their favourites!

These are the things that count for mission. You’ll notice that they’re all about what people are, rather than what they can do. It’s people we need, not gifts or expertise.

If this is you, then you should consider getting involved. Most X’s needn’t be an obstacle. We already have plenty of X’s on our team – people who:

  • have poor health
  • have young kids
  • are young kids!
  • are retired
  • are broke
  • are shy
  • have busy jobs and are time-poor

All these people will make an extremely valuable contribution. This sort of diversity helps and enriches our team no end. If we were all successful twenty-something single energetic public speakers, we could never hope to make newcomers feel comfortable! As well as expressing faith and love, we need to build difference and weakness into our team. We actually need those X’s!

So now you know, ask yourself: Should you be a cross-cultural missioner?

From → General

  1. Susannah permalink

    That’s a good way of putting it, Jonathan. And I reckon it is God’s method to go around searching for people with as many X’s as possible, then to gather them all together, make them a church and then change the world with them. Paul doesn’t seem to have been freaked out by this method “not many wise, not many mighty…”, so neither should we! In fact, actively embracing it is the way to go.

  2. Exactly, Susannah. If we get the best most gifted people, we might feel that prayer is an optional extra, rather than the heart of our missionary activity. And if we have success, it will be hard to know how much the Holy Spirit did, and how much was our brilliance! Paul’s way of operating makes us pray. It ensures that ‘he who boasts, boasts in the Lord’ (1 Cor 1). The task in the Georges River region is so huge that nothing our best people can do will be able to even dent it. It needs a movement of the Spirit – nothing else will do. So it’s vital that we start from a position of weakness…

  3. Chris permalink

    Hey guys. Been at the smbc missions conference this week. Been encouraging to hear about making multi ethnic churches happen…seems like you,re on the right track . Look forward to being around canterbury as it all kicks off.

    • Thanks Webby, we need all the encourgement we can get! Wish i’d caught the conference – no doubt I could’ve learnt a lot that would help us in the next few years. Our other team leader Christian made it to one evening session, said it was right up our alley!

  4. Joy Mae Dumasis permalink

    Shalom! I desire to be a part of your team but I am a Filipino..

    • Joy, we love Filipinos, that needn’t stop you taking part in the mission. Unless of course you mean that you live in the Phillipines…
      That could be a temporary obstacle.

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