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Finish What you Start

A long while back I read this stat and although I don’t know that the numbers are accurate, I do think it is pretty interesting:

100 young people walk an isle at mission conference, only 6 go to Bible college, 4 graduate and go to the field, and only one goes back for the second term!

Wow! Think about that, only a few really finish what they start. The truth is that we can apply this to any area of life… very few people finish what they start. When I was in Argentina, there were crazy amounts of people that would enter in the local university as lawyers (or accountants, medical, etc.) and the second year the number would be less than half, third year would be fewer and those that graduated many times were just a handful of those who started. Probably all of us could mention examples of how people quit and don’t follow through, but the sad thing is that this same mindset is happening in the ministry just as much as it is in the secular world. We must enter this subject taking the wise counsel given to us by God in I Corinthians 10:12 – “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”. We should be very careful before looking at other situations with a judgmental attitude, but we can be wise and try to learn some things, we can try to strive with all our might to finish what we start. Remember that serving God will almost guarantee the devil’s attacks, so we might want to set our hearts and minds on finishing what we start. Here are a few ideas that may help all of us to continue on and not quit. Read More

Excuses for not being a Missionary

  1. “But I’m not called”

You don’t know how many people I’ve met who have said to me “I agree that more people need to go to the mission field, but I’ve never heard God tell me to go.”

Well, the truth is that God has already told you to go in His Word. In fact, He commands you to go… “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) That’s right… YOU ARE CALLED!

In fact, if you don’t go, you need a specific calling from God to stay home. Has God definitely told you not to “go” somewhere outside your country to preach the Gospel? If He hasn’t, then you’d better start praying WHERE to go, instead of IF you should go – for again, you’re already called!

  1. “But God needs people to stay here to be a witness to those lost in America. There’s enough need right here!”

It is true that God has called some people to stay right where they are to be witnesses for Jesus in their daily lives and professions. But again, God is merciful and just. Since America has only about 5% of the world’s population, then only about 5% of the believers would really be called to stay in this country as a witness ( that’s only about 1 out of 20) while the rest of us should go into the parts of the world where there are almost 0% believers. (In Albania, for instance, there are only “a handful” of known believers in the whole country of 2.7 million people – less than 1/2 of 1/1000th percent!!) Read More

Enquiry into our Obligation

William Carey said “THE impediments in the way of carrying the gospel among the heathen must arise, I think, from one or other of the following things; either their distance from us, their barbarious and savage manner of living, the danger of being killed by them, the difficulty of procuring the necessaries of life, or the unintelligibleness of their languages.”

Not much has changed since William Carey’s day with respect to why we do not go.  In his statement is the pattern for why we also have failed to evangelize our neighbours.  Read More

Don’t Burn Bridges

We don’t have to live very long to find out that some people offend us and things do not always go as we wished or planned. A common mistake, in my opinion, is our reaction to people or problems with things happen to us – whether on a mission field, on deputation, in a church, work place, with friends, etc. When something does not go our way, we are prone to cut the person off or just walk out… but burning bridges only makes it more difficult to return if ever needed. The Biblical way to handle problems is not to burn bridges but to be humble and just keep going. It hurts, but when someone belittles you, offends you, treats you unjustly or shoots any negative vibe your way, it is best to respond humbly and not hatefully. Many times I have been hurt via email or phone conversations but later I was very glad that I didn’t decide to burn the bridges. Here are some simple reasons why not to burn bridges in life.

  1. You may need them one day

If you do ever need the person one day, it will be very hard to return back to them if you previously burned the bridges. If the last time you met with the person you concluded in a good manner, you will be happy you responded correctly when the you come to the time that you need the person.

  1. We are told to not respond in hate

A soft answer will appease the fire and fight but the strong words will only add fuel to the fire. The Bible commands us to respond correctly, not react sharply and burn the bridges.

  1. You might have been the one who was wrong

Have you ever been mad, stormed off totally disgusted only to find out later that it was you who was the mistaken one? Try going back and saying sorry after making a fool of yourself – that takes a lot of swallowing of the pride. Just in case you are wrong, which happens more often than we want to admit, it would be best to act kindly and not harshly.

  1. Others are watching

Whether kids, friends, other Christians or whoever it may be, there is always someone watching our lives. Even though someone hurts us, getting mad and burning the bridges will sure not let us win in other people’s eyes… even if you think it makes you feel better doing so. It is much better for someone to look at you and say, “they mistreated you, but that was amazing how you reacted in a mature manner towards them”, instead of someone seeing you react badly and burn all the bridges to future possibilities. You not only burn the future possibilities of recuperating relationships with the other party, but you now are closing doors to the person who was watching you and once thought good of you. Burning bridges is usually a lose-lose situation when it comes with working with people.

Here to Serve,

Jeff Bush

General Director of Vision Baptist Missions

Do you have a Coach?

A big mistake we make many times in ministry is that we think we know enough or have learned enough to be successful. It is interesting that the best sports players out there (Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, etc.) all have a coach and realize they need a coach, yet us “average” guys think we are ok. A coach is one who instructs you, tells you how to improve, corrects you when you are not doing it the best way, etc. Yes, professional players have natural talent but they also know that it can and must be perfected; they need someone to “coach” them. Here are a few thoughts if you are going to become good at what you do or want to do: Read More

Checklist To See If You Are Called & Ready To Go Into The Ministry

  • Are you faithful to your local church (regular weekly services as well as any special services such as conferences)?
  • Do you participate in evangelism in your local church as well as in your personal life?
  • Have you ever lead anyone to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?
  • Are you involved in one or more ministries in your local church?
  • Have you ever built a Sunday School class or another ministry to the point that your pastor and church family can clearly see God’s hand is on you?
  • Have you ever discipled anyone to the point that they are now serving faithful in church?
  • Can you stand-alone spiritually or do you need to be pumped up and propped up spiritually?
  • Do you have a problem finishing what you start?
  • Have you ever read your Bible completely (from Genesis to Revelation) at least one time? It is surprising that many want to enter into the ministry to teach others the Bible but themselves have never read it more than once (if that) in its entirety.
  • Do you have a problem submitting to authority? The common thought is that when you are in charge (pastor, missionary, teacher), no one will question or correct you, but the truth of the matter is that a spiritual leader has God and his congregation to whom he is accountable.

Here to Serve,

Jeff Bush

General Director of Vision Baptist Missions

Broken

In Bible times the alabaster box was worth a large sum of money and kept safe and stored until a appointed day, but the sweet smelling perfume inside the box could not be appreciated until the container was broken. And so it is with the lives of God’s children, no one wants to be hurt, uncomforted or go thru trials, but God’s amazing grace and glory is not fully seen until God’s children have been broken.

David was going to be the next king, but God first chose to make him run for his life hiding in caves from the jealous king who wanted to kill him. Joseph had the dream that all would bow down before him, but God first allowed him to be sold as a slave, mistreated, lied about and stuck in a prison before he became the leader the world needed. Jacob was going to be the father of multitudes, but God first allowed him to roam thru the desert running from his brother and working for his father-in-law that didn’t give him his fare share. Moses was to be the savior of God’s chosen people and see mighty miracles take place, but the Read More

Bible Principles of Faith Promise Giving

Taken from a book mark/brochure used by many churches for Missions Conferences (original author not known)

1.) It is Scriptural

In the Old Testament we find that the people gave over and above their tithes. As God blessed them, they gave to God and to His work.

In the New Testament the Apostle Paul received gifts of various churches. These gifts were special offerings which were collected and given to the work of the Lord. The words “gift”, “bounty”, “abundance”, and “willingly”, are all words which he uses to characterize this giving. In the book of II Corinthians 9:6-7, we read, “He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

2.) It is a source of God’s provision and blessing.

Faith Promise giving is “willing” giving. It is never required. The giver must be sensitive to God and open to what He will do through us. One of the great blessings of the Christian life is to allow God to work through us in meeting the needs of others’ lives. Faith Promise provides the opportunity for us to become personally involved in giving to help spread the Gospel to those who are without Jesus Christ. Not only are we obeying God’s command, but we are also bringing blessings to ourselves, our families our church and to others. Read More