Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Roles in Missions

What do you think of when you picture "MISSIONS"?

Do you see...
...David Livingstone, whose heart belonged to Africa?
...inner-city ministries?
...a few weeks in another country?
...or someone you know personally?

This week on campus, there is a conference being held: Field Ministries Week. This is a chance for the students, staff, and visitors to hear first hand about New Tribes' mission work around the world. Since I'm in childcare during the mornings, I'm not able to go to most of the meetings, but this afternoon I was able to attend a one hour session. It was great to hear about the work God is doing in Africa and Latin America. I wanted to share two quotes with you from this afternoon.

"You are not Muslims, and you are not Christians--you are men of God!"
-Islamic Leader in Africa

This really struck me, because the leader was speaking to NTM missionaries. I'll let you decide for yourself if it is a good thing or not to be identified as men of God rather than Christians. I thought it was pretty neat, because the leader's impression of a Christian was a Roman Catholic priest who brought religion to Africa. The NTM missionary he spoke to has made it clear that his purpose for being there is to "share the sacred writings with him". The people are trusting this missionary because of his presentation towards them--he has even grown out his beard, because in their culture, teachers and respected men have long beards. Hope this gives you some food for thought--do you want to be identified as men of God?

The second quote has more to do with the roles of missionaries. The list above includes many different types of missions. There is no "correct" answer, so long as all on the list are guided by God. Here is one more aspect to mission work:

"We need finishers. In some cases, the New Testament has been translated. The plea is for fledgling groups to be brought to maturity. They have been taught enough [scripture] to survive, but not enough to thrive."
-Missionary from Latin America

Missions work is not solely about tribal missions, VBS, inner-city kids, translating scripture (the list is long!) Missions work is about bringing people to the point where they can thrive in their relationship with the Lord, which is so much more than just the Gospel presentation.

How can you help people to thrive in their relationship with the Lord? Start praying now about how God wants to use YOU!

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