MI 101 Lesson 12 audio The Making of a Missonary Part II-1

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Rather detailed description of getting to the mission field

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The Making of a Missionary Part II:

The Making of a Missionary Part II Dr. Robert Patton Missionary to Suriname, South America

Is there a “missionary call?”:

Is there a “missionary call?” Yes – there is a call to full-time cross-cultural ministry that is different from other ministries. This is different from saying “every member is a missionary.”

How to prepare for a call:

How to prepare for a call Acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ - in all areas of life We cannot know God’s specific will until our lives are in conformity to His general will Understand the will of God - continually consecrate yourself :

Rom. 12:1-2:

Rom. 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, t hat ye present your bodies a living sacrifice , holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the re-newing of your mind , that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

God does promise to guide:

God does promise to guide Psalm 32:8-9 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye . Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near to thee.

How to prepare for a call:

How to prepare for a call Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit - who deals with each individual uniquely Confirmation via the local church . Remember that the church is the ground and pillar of the truth to whom the task of evangelism is given.

How to prepare for a call:

How to prepare for a call There is a difference between call and guidance - which is for specific service Paul’s call came on the Damascus road. He had guidance in Acts 13, 16, etc.

How to prepare for a call:

How to prepare for a call Have an open mind - be careful with your preconceptions and limitations An open ear - are we open to the Holy Spirit’s voice? A pure heart - prepared not only to know the will of God, but to do it.

How to prepare for a call:

How to prepare for a call Busy hands - be at work for God Ready feet - to walk by faith. God’s guidance is 100%, but not after it is filtered by mankind. But walk in faith . Get moving when you have information. It’s hard to steer a ship tied to the dock

Recruitment issues:

Recruitment issues Missions lose about 5- 10% per year between drop-outs and attrition from sickness and retirement Many are afraid of total surrender , but God is a good God, and surrender is the way to self-fulfillment There is usually quite a bit of flexibility in the sort of work you do

Recruitment issues:

Recruitment issues The key to missions is the missionary 4-10% attrition per year Reasons for difficulty – one survey .I am not spiritually prepared -35% .I don’t want to go raise support 32% .I am afraid to learn a foreign language 20% .I don’t want to make a life-time commitment 13%

Answers to recruitment problems:

Answers to recruitment problems Truth - most missionaries are no more spiritual than others - they have hang-ups too Truth - support is not begging - it is an opportunity to grow spirit-ually, challenge churches to mis-sions, give them an opportunity to get involved, and get prayer support

Answers to recruitment problems:

Answers to recruitment problems Language learning is different from what we had in school We must be open to do God’s will our entire lives, but be flexible as He directs If God calls, He will enable us to do His will – like the master has responsibility for his slave

Problems getting on the field:

Problems getting on the field Areas of problems to getting on the field .Marriage to an unsympathetic spouse A large family .Parental opposition .Debt

Recruitment issues:

Recruitment issues Separation from children can be a big problem Single women have some advantages - more free time, no tie to family, but also some disadvan-tages

Obstacles to missionary service:

Obstacles to missionary service Accumulation of debts – plan to stay debt-free Love and marriage – you need to make some decisions about your call before you start a relationship

Obstacles to missionary service:

Obstacles to missionary service Accumulation of debts – plan to stay debt-free Love and marriage – you need to make some decisions about your call before you start a relationship

Obstacles to missionary service:

Obstacles to missionary service Parental opposition Health problems – usually not as big an issue as previously Lack of direction – this seems to be a major problem today!

Obstacles to missionary service:

Obstacles to missionary service Lack of Bible training – some may have adequate secular training in some task (like medicine) but be inadequate in Bible knowledge Lack of practical experience – especially soulwinning . Crossing the sea does not transform you into a soulwinner Attractive offers at home

Single missionaries face unique challenges:

Single missionaries face unique challenges Most are women When working with a couple of the same age, sometimes nationals assume that the man has two wives Remember that the nationals will look at the situation from the framework of their own culture.

Qualifications for missionary service:

Qualifications for missionary service Physical qualifications – you don’t need to be a great athlete, but do what you can to discipline yourself, especially in the area of weight Academic - most prefer a college graduate, but it is important to keep growing intellectually Vocational qualifications vary with the type of work

Education is important to help fill in the gaps…:

Education is important to help fill in the gaps… Bridge the language gap - grammar & linguistics Bridge the culture gap – cultural anthropology, etc Bridge the religious gap - know the thought patterns, worldview, and religious beliefs of others

Personality qualifications for missionary service:

Personality qualifications for missionary service Emotional stability – character-driven, not emotionally driven Adaptability – especially in terms of time, work ethic, importance of interpersonal relationships, etc Sense of humor – sometimes this can be a lifesaver!

Personality qualifications for missionary service:

Personality qualifications for missionary service Teamwork – we are in this together Willingness to take orders – we are servants of Christ, and servants of those to whom we minister. We are not there to play “big boss” Be prepared to endure hardness - not expect all the American luxuries

Personality qualifications for missionary service:

Personality qualifications for missionary service Be prepared to wait – the time frame of the third world is different - event oriented rather than time-oriented No superiority complex – especially concerning Western cultural values No racial prejudice

Spiritual qualifications:

Spiritual qualifications Genuine conversion – this goes without saying Knowledge of the scriptures – this must be practical as well as theoretical Assurance of divine guidance – it is vital to know that you are in the will of the Lord when the trials come – and they will come!

Spiritual qualifications:

Spiritual qualifications Self discipline – body, soul, spirit Strong devotional life – you must be able to feed yourself, and not coast on the spirituality of the school, chapel, etc A heart of love – true agape love for your people Some success in Christian service before going to the field

God dealing with the missionary::

God dealing with the missionary: God chooses a man : Jn. 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you , and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit… God called Moses & Jeremiah Jesus called the disciples Paul was an apostle by the will of God God calls the man ; he is not just a volunteer

God dealing with the missionary::

God dealing with the missionary: God chooses his ministry & the gifts of the Holy Spirit which he receives God chooses the sphere or location of the ministry God determines the length of the ministry God determines the “success” of the ministry - is it good in His sight?

God orders world events:

God orders world events The times and seasons are under His control God opens and closes doors - Rev. 3:7; Romans 11:33-36 God commands evangelism whether in good times or bad Open doors are our responsibility; closed doors are His to open

God’s work and Man’s Work:

God’s work and Man’s Work God is prodigal dispensing His grace ; but frugal using His power . If man can do the job, God expects him to do so .Jesus provided redemption; we must preach it .The disciples showed this dramatic change when Jesus left the earth .God uses human agents for salvation

God’s work and man’s work:

God’s work and man’s work Lazarus The men moved the stone The men removed the graveclothes so that he could walk But Jesus raised him from the dead Feeding 5000 The boy gave the lunch The disciples distributed it But Jesus multiplied it

God’s work and Man’s Work:

God’s work and Man’s Work When the church ceases to be a missionary church, it denies its faith and betrays its trust God works through the church We have been given the ministry of reconciliation

Why missionaries leave the field:

Why missionaries leave the field Personal problems Lack of spirituality Lack of commitment Problems with drugs, alcohol Immorality Sickness

Family problems:

Family problems Problems with his wife Does she agree with the call? I believe that if the man is called, the wife is called too The wife often has many more adjustment problems . The man may have his work set, but the wife must function as a wife without all the help she is used to having

Family problems:

Family problems Adjustments of the children Schooling is a major hurdle. Some sent their children away to boarding school – most adapt well, but not all Some home school – this is a big load on the wife, but many helps are currently available which were not in years past Some send the children to the local school

Family problems:

Family problems Children adapting to a new culture – especially a problem with the teenage years On the other hand, many teenagers are far more mature and have a broader vantage point than their peers by traveling and living in another culture, speaking another language, etc Care of elderly parents

Problems with other missionaries:

Problems with other missionaries Personality clashes – remember, you often don’t choose your fellow workers Differences in standards, theology, and approach to ministry Difficult situations – especially in the bush with a single woman missionary and a couple. Many nationals assume the man has two wives

Health and cultural issues:

Health and cultural issues Health issues are less common than formerly with advances in health, but still present Culture shock Inability to adjust to and appreciate the new culture and people

Problems with nationals:

Problems with nationals The day of the “white bwana” is basically gone with colonialization There is much resentment of the missionary coming to play “big boss” We must be able to work together – the goal of the missionary must be national churches which are independent

What can we do to prevent burnout or fall-out:

What can we do to prevent burnout or fall-out Do not underestimate the need of a strong spiritual life. Many students cruise on the spirituality of their school – chapels, prayer times, study-ing the Bible, etc. – but do not know how to feed themselves from the Bible, and do not have a vital prayer life. We must walk in the Spirit! The Holy Spirit does not experience burnout.

Practical experience before going overseas:

Practical experience before going overseas Particularly evangelism – crossing salt water does not make you an evangelist Practical experience working in a church is a big help, and allows you to find and develop your spiritual gifts

Be as certain as you can over your call:

Be as certain as you can over your call When you know that God has called you to a particular field/work, that knowledge keeps you going when the tests come – and they will come . Again, have a close relationship with the Lord and go to Him in prayer

Learn about your country:

Learn about your country As much as you can learn from your country before arrival can help with your understanding, and reduce culture shock The same is true of language if it is possible to learn ahead of time

Work hard on language learning:

Work hard on language learning Some languages are difficult. Resist the temptation to work permanently through an interpreter, or you will be permanently limited in your effectiveness Take enough time to learn the basics of the language, and keep learning throughout your lifetime

Set reasonable goals:

Set reasonable goals We often set unrealistic goals for ourselves We may try to please our supporters more than the Lord.

Develop a support team:

Develop a support team First – your family must be together Secondly, have a strong support team of prayer warriors in the USA. This is a big benefit of faith promise system Take time on deputation to develop not only adequate financial support, but prayer support . E-mail is great!

Deputation advice:

Deputation advice Do not be afraid of deputation. You are not “begging” but seeking partners to work together to reach the world for Christ. You need the support of the churches, but they cannot do the work of worldwide evangelization without you

Deputation advice:

Deputation advice Quality! Your presentation Your preaching if you preach Your prayer card

Be faithful in contacts:

Be faithful in contacts Make every effort to get into churches! I always try to schedule heavily – usually a minimum of 3 speaking engagements per week. If possible, I made the farther place Sunday morning and nearer Sunday night

Deputation – remember:

Deputation – remember Your support on the mission field is important. Take the necessary time to get adequate support Ask God for a time to depart, and tell everyone when you know Be constantly scheduling; ask pastors where you have good meetings to help

Pray:

Pray Pray for your meetings Pray for the churches Pray for your support Pray to be a blessing Pray to be able to communicate your burden for the ministry

Furlough meetings:

Furlough meetings It is easier to get into your supporting churches, as you are not seeking support. However, it is important to let them see you and know what is going on. I like to start scheduling nearly one year in advance. Larger churches work on that sort of schedule. Prepare to show how the work is progressing.