So what do we do with a missionary?

So what do we do with a missionary?

By Phillip Lee Kesler

Walking into the average church – most people are happy to greet a missionary. Some want to ask questions; others want to share where they went on a mission trip; on occasion, a missionary may be asked to come up front and give a testimony. Rarely a missionary will be called to preach.

That’s about where it stops.

If you asked most people what a missionary does, you would get a whole variety of responses. Some would say “preach the gospel to the lost”; some would say “plant churches”; others would say “organize mission trips for volunteers” – and that would be the extent of the knowledge of most members.

If they only knew.

If they only understood how much a missionary could help them!

  1. Missionaries do preach the gospel and help plant churches. But they also train and equip local pastors and missionaries to continue the work in an effective manner — which is vital to mission continuation and multiplication!
  2. Missionaries can teach how to effectively employ social work / compassionate ministry along with the Gospel message in order to multiply church planting efforts and not create dependency among the host people.
  3. Missionaries train, equip, and mentor future leaders – looking to empower the next generation of pastors, missionaries, and seminary professors. Some missionaries have helped start whole new conventions and mission agencies from scratch!
  4. Missionaries often interview, coach, encourage, teach, and prepare sports professionals, businessmen/women, educators, health care workers, and other technical /professional people to work overseas among unreached peoples – how to appropriately share their faith and plant simple churches among new disciples in countries where access is a challenge.
  5. Missionaries can help churches and church staff teams how to prepare their volunteers to go overseas and work in a responsible manner that leaves a lasting impact for the Kingdom; but all too often, what churches actually do is tantamount to “voluntourism”—an overseas experience that really doesn’t accomplish much, but uses an inordinate amount of time, resources, creates dependency, etc. — but the sending church feels good that they “did missions” and will probably do the same exact thing year after year, if not coached appropriately.
  6. Missionaries are connected to each other and know where the greatest needs are, for those serious about working overseas professionally in restricted areas (among Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Communists, etc).
  7. Missionaries know how to train people how to share their faith and make disciples among hard to reach peoples and to do so naturally in conversation. Ask them.
  8. Many missionaries can lead mission mobilization events, missionary training events, and pastor’s conferences – inspiring messages and dynamic teaching. They can teach potential mission candidates about basic anthropology, language classes, etc.
  9. Many missionaries can teach simple church planting strategies (i.e. cell groups) for expanding ministries into communities where most local churches have little or no influence – among Diaspora peoples (immigrants, refugees, etc).

So…..the next time a missionary enters your church…… what will you ask of them NOW?

2 thoughts on “So what do we do with a missionary?”

  1. Thank you, Phil, for your thoughts. Yes, being a missionary is a big, big job. Thanks for your thoughts.

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