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Showing posts from August, 2019

3 Marks of a Faithful Missionary

Recently, I’ve seen several articles from famous theologians asking questions like, “What makes a good Biblical scholar?” Naturally, I’ve been anxiously waiting for a famous missionary to explain what makes a good missionary. But I realized that I might be waiting till Jesus returns. So I thought I’d take a stab at it myself. Of course, I’m certainly not a famous missionary. I’ve been blessed to work with dozens of missionaries and have known hundreds of missionaries in my short lifetime. I’ve been a member of a church that is heavily involved in missions and has sent out many missionaries. I’ve also been an MK, missionary, and field team leader in Togo, West Africa. I can’t claim to be a great missionary myself, but I know for sure that I’ve met and worked with some great ones. So—what makes a faithful missionary? 1. DEDICATION TO THE WORD OF GOD How can missionaries make disciples, teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20), unless we are personally dedicated …

Doing Missions Like John the Baptist

John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it's given to him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I've been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the groom's voice. So this joy of mine is complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:27-30 CSB)
John was calling people repent and follow the coming Messiah. He recognized that he wasn’t sent to build up his own little kingdom or fiefdom. John beamed with pride and joy when people began following the true Messiah rather than himself. John’s humility is an example to us all, especially to pastors and missionaries proclaiming the good news of Christ’s kingdom. Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus. (John 1:35-37 CSB) Whe…

Should Missionaries Be Operating Hospitals?

I must confess that I don’t really like hospitals—even though I serve on a team that focuses on hospital ministry.
Although I’ve visited several church members and friends in hospitals, I never enjoy being there, and I don’t stay long. Maybe it’s the smell of disinfectant; I’m not sure. Hospitals just make me feel uncomfortable. But an interesting thing happens whenever a loved one gets sick or injured. I forget my distaste for hospitals, and I happily enter in to spend time with those I care about. I’ve also needed hospital care multiple times, and my aversion to them hasn’t prevented me from utilizing their services. What’s this got to do with missions?

Just recently, I was admitted to our local ABWE hospital in Tsiko, Togo, which is located about 40 minutes north my home in KpalimĂ©. I was very sick and needed IV fluids and some strong antibiotics. Having lived in West Africa for about six years as both an MK and an adult missionary, I’ve been treated numerous times and admitted at …

On Patience With Teammates

“Waiting with a good attitude”—that is the typical, bland definition that comes to my mind when I think of patience or read about it in Scripture.
It’s certainly an accurate idea, based on Romans 8:25: “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (ESV). James 5:7 conveys a similar idea: “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.” But perhaps we equate patience with waiting a bit too much. Patience is more than that. When we define patience in this narrow way, we forget about the distinct fruit of the spirit also called patience. Patience, as a fruit of the spirit, also includes the idea of being gracious with others. In relating with our Christian brothers and sisters, we must ask if we are ever guilty of saying, “If she criticizes me one more time, I’m going to… (blank),” or, “If he looks down his n…