Friday, May 29, 2015

On Mission: Six Articles

What Missionaries Aren't Telling You (Part 1)

Our first two years in Tanzania were the hardest of my life.

Gil and I were 24 years old. We had been married only 9 months. Ten days after we arrived, I had an adverse reaction to my malaria medication that instigated over 6 months of panic attacks. I was deep in mental darkness, and even when I began to improve, I still was barely coping a lot of the time.

My teaching job required me to wake up at 5:00 and leave the house at 6. Usually, I didn't get home until 5 pm. Gil's job took place in the afternoons and evenings. When I got home from work each day, I immediately joined him in his ministry. I loved what we were doing, but I was utterly exhausted. Keep reading

Also see
What Missionaries Aren't Telling You (and What They Need From You)
What Missionaries Aren't Telling You (and What Needs to Change About That)

Rescuing Short Term Missions

Tony Myles shares insights on how to lead a productive mission trip.

1) Short term mission trips have historically been seen as a positive way to get young people engaged in overseas missions, but lately have come under fire for, perhaps, facilitating a bad view of missiology in general. Why is this?

People like to air their opinions, plain and simple. I'm just as guilty as anyone about this, so let's all be honest about how that's played into current conversations about missions. We end up trying to say the next clever thing, whether we actually have something original to offer or are just kicking at what's been foundational for years. We become so focused on the finding a "nail in the tire" that we stop driving the "vehicle" forward and actually making progress. If there is any ongoing problem with mission trips, it's in our lack of foundational preparation, debriefing, and follow-up. That's the focus of Flipping Missions because what will either make the most of a trip or waste it is who we are going into it and coming out of it. Keep reading

20 Truths from A Field Guide to Everyday Mission

What does it look like to live on mission in the routine of everyday life?

1. Fix broken things: Jesus saw blindness and other disabilities as symbolic of spiritual brokenness; we can to. Pick up trash, paint fences, help a neighbor with rehab, or clean a park.

2. Be generous: Sacrifice your time, money, and resources for the good of others. This echoes the generosity, sacrifice, grace, and initiation God first showed you.

3. Back your ministry up with your message: Be aware how the work of the gospel is echoed in your cleaning, fixing, renewing, and serving. Be willing to explain this when asked.

4. Build relationships: Stories get deeper, trust is built, and needs are expressed, only as relationships get stronger. Make time, ask questions, and visit often. Share your story and remember as they share theirs.

5. Take—or teach—a class or lessons: do adult education, cooking, fitness, art, or whatever you’re passionate about. If there’s no class offered in an area of your skill or passion, start one. Keep reading

Plan family vacations with a purpose

When our family helped plant a church in southern France, our eldest daughter's perspective changed. "I realize now that God is everywhere. He's not an American." You don't need to permanently relocate to experience this type of change with your kids. Many families vacation with a purpose. These servant-like excursions have helped change and shape families, solidifying their kids' beliefs. Keep reading

No comments: