In my opinion, this mistake is one of the largest missionary mistakes that can be made. The Lord has been gracious to me, but sadly I believe there have been many times that I have harmed my family and the ministry. Missionary Mistake #11 concerns Teamwork in the Marriage.
We all know that marriage is one of the greatest decisions after salvation, but I would like to discuss the mistake a missionary can make while serving on the field. When God leads a man to the mission field, God leads a family to the mission field.
I have been guilty many times of running without making sure my wife is by my side. We must not forget that God joined us together and we are now a team. We married to do more for God together than we could individually. How many times I could have been saved from headaches and heart aches if I would have only talked things over with my wife. Of course God has placed me as the head of the family, but don’t forget that we are a team as well. If I would have listened when my wife told me that someone had wrong intentions, that a certain person was not truthful, a certain idea was not wise, etc … I could have saved myself from many heart aches. Things that have been stolen, people that have hurt us, ideas that were not wise and much more could have been avoided if I would only have worked as a team and not a one-man player. Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part XI”
As I write this mistake, I see how this is more of a daily mistake instead of a once-in-a-while, ministerial mistake. Missionary Mistake #10 concerns Criticism.
As with the rest of the mistakes, this is something that is very hard for me. Whether it comes from church people, friends, other missionaries, or even people who have left our ministry … it all still hurts. The fact is that we will all be criticized in different areas of our lives. Therefore the question lies more in how should I react when I’m criticized instead of if I am criticized.
I have preached on the subject of what to do when criticized, but it always still hurts when I personally receive the criticism. Why would someone criticize me? What are they trying to prove? Do they not realize how hard it hurts? These are a few of the questions that run through my mind when I am receiving criticism. But as a missionary, I must realize a few general facts. Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part X”
Missionary Mistakes #9 is a common problem seen amongst many missionaries. I both want to say thank the Lord for what He has taught me, along with a caution to all to not make this mistake. This Missionary Mistake concerns Preparation.
To be a missionary, there are many important steps to take. Without going into depth, I would like to mention some of those areas where we cannot afford to take the step without preparation.
If you go to a non-speaking English country, it is of upmost importance to learn the language of the people. A missionary that can not speak the language of the people will have many disadvantages as well as hindrances in his ministry. We all want to jump in and begin preaching, but if we do not take the discipline of going to language school, we may never be accepted by the people or possibly never be used as greatly for our Lord. We must not be fooled by the idea that everyone knows “some” English. Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part IX”
The next Missionary Mistake I would like to share is the mistake of forgetting the Transition Rule. I am a missionary, and it is my belief that if I say I am a church planter, than I must …. start churches. I personally have churches in the US that support me as a missionary, not just a pastor. If I stay content with one church all my ministerial life, am I being fare to churches in the states? Would I even be being fare to the people on my field?
I was taught by my spiritual father a principle that is very important in the missionary life – the Transition Rule. I begin as the soul winner, pastor, door-opener, song leader, floor cleaner, etc, but my goal is to move out of those positions so that other leaders can be raised up. The goal is that the people of Argentina can take the lead and one day have an Argentine pastor. But how can they unless I practice the Transition Rule. Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part VIII”
More than once have we seen God do a miraculous work on a Sunday morning service and then come back on Sunday night only to feel that the message was a “flop”. It hurts to say, but I have bombed my share of messages. Not only do I believe it is a sin to take the worlds most wonderful Book and make it dry, but I also believe it is the messenger’s poor giving of the message that is the problem.
As a missionary, God has placed many good people under my care to feed spiritually until the next man takes over. If I give a lousy delivery, I am not only telling the people that I did not study, but I am showing with my actions that God’s Word is NOT interesting. Shame on me, shame on us if we do not prepare well enough! Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part VII”
As a missionary, it is a humbling thing many times for me to realize that I may be a spiritual leader to many people, but I do not have every answer. In many circumstances I would be wise to heed to advice from men and others in the church.
I work in Argentina and love Argentina as well as the people, but I have not learned everything about the culture. It almost is hard for me to say, but I am not Argentine. In those words, I believe it means that I should ask for simple advice before I make little decisions in the church. Of course I will make the decisions about what to preach, who leads, etc, but on cultural items, I should ask for opinions. Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part VI”
The 5th of many Missionary Mistakes I have made, is that of believing Hiring is easier than Raising.
I used to think, with the American dollar having more value than the peso, I could hire someone to help me do much more of the work and get twice as much done. Although this could be very true and used correctly, it has both its pros and cons. The simple thought that I can hire someone and avoid having to spend time raising and maturing new Christians, many times is easier than, but ends up costing much more in the end.
God has been very gracious to us, and compared to many horror stories, we have not faced as great of difficulties. But I do want to say that we have had more problems with outsiders that have come from other ministries than we have had in the people that come from our own ministry that the Lord has given us. Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part V”
The fourth Missionary Mistake I have made and would like to present is concerning Self Discipline.
It did not take me long to realize that when I arrived on the mission field, I was my own boss. No one was there to tell me what time I had to wake up, no one told me I had to work a certain amount of hours, check in or check out, visit, study, etc. The truth is, I could really live it up and make up stories in my prayer letters …. or I could practice some simple steps in self discipline.
As being my own boss, I must realize a few things. I personally have family members, friends and churches that support my family and I here on the field. I could get away with many things, … but is it really right of me to “live it up” and not do my job. Of course we have people praying for us, churches sacrificing for us, Argentines depending on us, etc, but the biggest reality point for me is Proverbs 15:3 – “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” I can look at what I want on the internet, spend my time how I want during the day, be lazy, etc, … but the eyes of the Lord are watching me. Continue reading “Missionary Mistakes – Part IV”