Category Archives: Missions

Musings and meditations about missions from a missionary.

Hardships of Missionary Life

When a person chooses to be a missionary, there are certain sacrifices that they make in order to partake in this kind of ministry. Essentially you lose a lot of your “identity” to become a missionary. The simple question, “Where are you from?” becomes a complicated question because while I was born and raised in South Carolina, I have spent more time in Mexico than the US. Mexican people we visit. Sometimes they joke saying, “David is more Mexican than we are!” I have adapted to Mexican culture and foods, and I really like at least most of the Mexican foods.

But this price we pay is difficult to handle many times.  You kind of “lose your identity” in the process of being a good missionary. We must celebrate the Mexican holidays and basically follow the Mexican culture, because you just cannot survive without doing that. Image if a Mexican was to pastor your church and not celebrate the Fourth of July! He would be extremely out of sync with the people he is trying to reach.

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Nerves Presenting Missionary Presentation

Nerves Presenting Missionary Presentation

Nerves Presenting Missionary Presentation
By David Cox

Nerves Presenting Missionary PresentationIn this installment we think about being nervous in giving a missionary presentation.

When you think about it, first of all, you have contacts countless pastors and tried to talk your way past numberless secretaries to get to a pastor, and you have sent enough letters, emails, text messages to fill a computer, and after all that, you get very few if any meetings. When you actually get to a meeting, everything goes wrong. You leave your suit and tie back home, your slide presentation messes up or worse, the projector won’t work or there isn’t an extension cord that will reach, etc. Continue reading Nerves Presenting Missionary Presentation

Missionary Presentations Openings and Closings

Missionary Presentations Openings and Closings

Missionary Presentations Openings and Closings
By David Cox

Missionary Presentations Openings and ClosingsIn this video by a professional presentation trainer, we hear how to begin and end a presentation. The opening and closing of a missionary presentation are extremely important in making a good impression on people. The opening is the first impression you give to people. The closing should wrap up things and bring the focus to what you want them to remember about you and your ministry. Continue reading Missionary Presentations Openings and Closings

Missionary Presentations Q&As

Missionary Presentations Q&As

Missionary Presentations Q&As
by David Cox

Missionary Presentations Q&AsThere is hardly a missionary who presents his/her work that is not thrust before an audience and the pastor says, answer any questions that our people might have. In this presentation by Deborah Grayson Riegel, she deals with how to handle Questions and the audience.

The missionary presentation is basically the one thing that a church will use to judge whether they want to partner with you (praying for you and sending you support) or not. It is a crucial element in the missionary’s ministry, and especially in his finances and economics. Without supporting churches, a missionary will be crippled in what he can do, and this just will not get better until he can learn how to successfully pitch his ministry to others and they “buy into his ministry.”

 

One of the first things she addresses is the audience as a barrier to our success, but they are the strategic partner in the success of your presentation and ministry, then we have something good here.

Truthfully, if a church’s people get behind you, you are successful, otherwise it was a failure. The importance of the audience is the key. The audience is the purpose of our presentation.

We need to project trust and confidence in what we are doing, and who we are. It is not about you being great or talented or accomplished. It is about the work we are doing for our Lord Jesus Christ, and that we want to see this go forward (really through us, around us, or apart from us). That is the important thing.

The audience wants to know if they will want to support you, and you must convince them successfully that you are worthy of their concern and support (partnering).

 

10/40 Window

What is the 10/40 Window of Missions?

10/40AThe 10/40 Window is a term coined by Christian missionary strategist Luis Bush in 1990 to refer to those regions of the eastern hemisphere, plus the European and African part of the western hemisphere, located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, a general area that in 1990 was purported to have the highest level of socioeconomic challenges[3][4] and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources on the planet.

Though popularized by Luis Bush, the term 10/40 window was in use by missiologists at the U.S. Center for World Missions as early as 1981, a term that was used by Doctor Ralph Winter, and subsequently, John Dawson of Youth With A Mission and Reconciliation Ministries, and many other YWAMers long before 1990. The rest of the article may be correct for it was talked about at Lausanne II.

The 10/40 Window concept highlights these three elements: an area of the world with great poverty and low quality of life, combined with lack of access to Christian resources. The Window forms a band encompassing Saharan and Northern Africa, as well as almost all of Asia (West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and much of Southeast Asia). Roughly two-thirds of the world population lives in the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window is populated by people who are predominantly Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, Jewish or atheist. Many governments in the 10/40 Window are formally or informally opposed to Christian work of any kind within their borders.

wikipedia.org

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Is Missionary Support Begging?

Missionaries begging for Support

Missionary Support Begging. There is a misperception by many people, even many missionaries, that if you receive money from individuals or churches, you are begging. Christians are not to be beggars. King David said…

Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

missionary support BeggingSo what we can conclude is that it is not biblical for Christians to be begging, much less ministers of the gospel.

So who are doing this? Actually there are some missionaries who seem to “beg” (ask strongly for people to give them money) for some trumped up reason, like sickness, lack of food, or some other necessity. The tone of what they say seems very much like begging.

The point here is that of unethical behavior by missionaries. This kind of conduct should tell God’s people NOT TO GIVE THEM ANYTHING!

A Laborer is Worthy of his Salary

1Cor 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

1Tim 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

missionary support BeggingThe principle of God is that a person doing a worthy work is worthy of a worthy salary or reward. The problem here is that we don’t want to make the gospel at a condition. Very simply, we give the gospel away, and we do not condition our service and laborers on the recipients giving us (ministers) something, but rather, we freely give, BUT we teach that the receivers should also give to those serving them, and then we would be completely happy with whatever comes in, even if nothing comes in.

Is missionary tentmaking biblical?

Missionary tentmaking, a Definition

Missionary tentmaking is were the missionary actually supports himself via some secular job instead of by donations by people in his home country and/or the field where he is going.

missionary tentmakingI have worked in a secular job while in the US raising support to go to the field. So I cannot say as a missionary that I have done missionary tentmaking. Having clarified that, let me also say that I have no desire to do. Tentmaking missionaries have a lot of problems that a regular missionary does not have.

Tentmaking problems: with tentmaking

First of all, in almost all areas of secular work, you will find that you are displacing nationals which do the same thing, and this is not well received by the host country, and in most cases, the host country will not cooperate with you very much to give you the needed visa to some secular job. Moreover, doing this job and making money from it without permission is simply illegal, and you risk being deported or even jail. So that road is not so open as when Paul took it.

Tentmaking problems: Is it biblical?

Secondly let’s get a bit of a focus on New Testament missions. Paul and his companions were not going around the world tending to the medical needs of people in other countries. In fact we see no real examples of this. The church at Jerusalem at one juncture had economic problems coming from persecution, and other churches send economic help. That is a far cry from sending food to starving kids in Africa, which number one are not saved, and number two are not in a church, and number three, the money is not going to a church to be distributed to their own people. Sending money via some government or world organization often ends up putting the money or goods in the hands of corrupt people who only sell it at double or triple the market rate, and there is nothing noble or righteous in doing that.

What Paul and his companions did is they were sent out from biblical churches as missionaries, and to the best as we understand the New Testament, at least some local churches sent support to them for their work. Considering the situation of the times, these churches probably took up or used their funds to give these missionaries a lot of money at one time, probably a year or more support in a single offering. With a couple of churches, they could travel and work for several years, and then they returned home.

In other words, they went out in faith and worked trusting God to provide for them along the way (think Matthew 10 here). They were not missionary tentmaking.

Moreover these missionaries worked on a certain basis: i.e. the laborer is worthy of his hire, and somehow, those that accept the gospel have a responsibility to support the ministers among them.

1Cor 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? 1Cor 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. 1Cor 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, 1Cor 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? 1Cor 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 1Cor 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? 1Cor 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 1Cor 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 1Cor 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 1Cor 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 1Cor 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 1Cor 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 1Cor 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 1Cor 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 

The clear intent of Paul here is that a missionary has a right, and this is a principle of God, that missionaries should live of the same gospel they preach. Now this comes to bear 1) from the church where they labor. 2) from other churches that send them out.

What happens if a missionary goes out but not to start a church? This is not figured in the NT and we don´t have any examples nor commands about it. In other words, that is not the biblical norm for missionaries to begin with, and why would you discard the biblical example to seek something else?

Faith Missions: Is it biblical?

Faith missions is going out living by faith. God can and will provide for you as a minister of God. But there are some problems with faith missions. First of all the amount of money you think you need. If you think God is going to give you 100s of thousands of dollars to go set yourself up as a sultan or something akin to that, think again. That is not faith missions. Faith missions means living by faith that God will provide you your daily bread, and in our day of medical insurance, retirement funds, emergency funds, vehicle replace funds, purchasing a house fund, etc., you will probably not be able to live by faith if you are placing non-faith demands on top of more of the same.

Faith missions is to make due with what God sees fit to give you. That is biblical. Emergencies will happen, and we need to deal with them in sharing them with our people on the field and back home. Many (most) churches have abandoned faith missions, and they don’t want to hear emergency needs from missionaries and if they do, they will accuse that the missionary is irresponsible for not going with all this taken care of. Bottom line: Yes you have a crisis, but don’t bother us with it.

Matt 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Matt 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. Matt 10:11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

When Jesus sent out his disciples on a missionary journey, notice what they were to carry with them or prepare before they were to leave. Nothing! You go, and live off of your preaching. That kind of minister is rarely seen.

The point of this is the following, why do we want to work a secular job instead of depend on the saved? Many times this concept of tentmaking is put forth as the ideal way to do missions when it was never done the way these people are presuming. Paul mended tents because his donations hadn’t come in. That is biblical “tentmaking”. We see no where that this is how Paul always supported himself (according to the popular missionary tentmaking concept). We see him rather receiving donations as the principle way of supporting himself.

So for those cheap people who don’t want to have to think about supporting missionaries, letting loose with hefty amounts of money, missionary tentmaking is perfect for them. They are not living by it, and so they push it.

The bottom line is this, if you have to work 40 hours a week to support yourself because you are missionary tentmaking, how much time can you devote after that to God’s work. Very little. Moreover, being an American, with an American level of living, in most places you cannot support yourself at that standard of living doing most common jobs in the country. Sure, if you are a heart surgeon, it would be easy. But few young people wanting to serve the Lord are heart surgeons. Most high paying jobs take a goodly amount of preparation, and this is lacking in most cases.