Saturday, February 21, 2009

10 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Missionary

This was to good to pass up.

10 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Missionary (Adapted from a list which originally appeared in How are you doing? by missionary statesman Stewart Dinnen; Bromley: STL Books, 1984.)

1. Ignore Jesus' request in John 4:35 that we take a long hard look at the fields. Seeing the needs can be depressing and very unsettling. It could lead to genuine missionary concern. (John 4:35 "Do you not say, `Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.")

2. Focus your energy on a socially legitimate target. This could be a bigger salary, better qualifications, a job promotion, bigger home, better car, or providing for the future.

3. Get married as soon as possible, preferably to somebody who thinks the "Great Commission" is what your employer gives you after you make a big sale. After marriage, plunge right into the socially accepted norm of settling down, establishing a career and raising a family.

4. Stay away from missionaries. Their testimonies can be disturbing. The situations they describe will distract you from settling in comfortably with the materialistic living style of your home country.

5. If you happen to think about unreached peoples, immediately focus on those countries where it's impossible to openly do missionary work. Think only about North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China and other closed countries. Forget the vast areas of our globe open to missionaries. Never, never listen to talk about "creative access" countries.

6. Dwell on your own past failures. It is unreasonable to expect you will ever be any better. Don't study the lives of Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter or Mark (who were all drop-outs at one stage, but didn't stay that way).

7. Always think of missionaries as talented, super-spiritual people up on lofty pedestals. Maintaining this image of a missionary will heighten your own sense of inadequacy. Knowing that God does not use ordinary people as missionaries will smother any guilt you may feel about refusing to even listen for a call from God.

8. Agree with the people who tell you that you are indispensable where you are. Listen when they tell you that your local church can't do without you.

9. Worry incessantly about money.

10. If you still feel you must go, go out right away without any preparation or training. You'll soon be home again and no one can blame you for not trying!