“What do Missionaries wish they had known before they first went?” Missionary Problems: Missionary Life
- 1 I need a lot of money coming in
- 2 Pastors die, churches change pastors, and churches close their doors.
- 3 Money is not the same for everybody.
- 4 Patience is not a Good thing if you have it, but it is Essential
- 5 Most people think big is good and godly
I need a lot of money coming in
The days of living by faith and sacrifice are over, basically. Everything is done with money now. The worst part of this is simply that ministering is extremely difficult without resources. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea that the Holy Spirit just doesn’t cut it anymore. In other words, praying for God to provide means that whether you see that as how you get what you need or not, basically, you need to do a lot of programs and activity on your part, and let God alone to help or not. But we work in our own power.
This is just not the Bible that I have. Yet, the Christian world seems to believe this fully, and just believe “a little bit” that God will provide in His own time and way. Heaven help us!
Pastors die, churches change pastors, and churches close their doors.
One of the facts of life is that pastors die, and when they do, churches get new pastors, and sometimes pastors move on from a church. What I note is that rarely will a pastor take a new church and want to see one of their old missionaries. You are with the old church, so don’t come knocking on my door. I do not know why I am now anathema to them, but as a “companion in the ministry” with the pastor, I usually feel hurt.
I have had a new pastor take over a supporting church, and in that case, the church was Fundamental, but the new pastor hated everything I had written, most especially about “Fundamentalism” and “Compromise” and summarily cut off our support. I do know that there were good people in that church, Fundamentalists and conservative doctrinally oriented people, but apparently they were not in the majority. In other cases, some of their members moved out of that church, and they directly support us now.
Moreover, some churches just close their doors. I do not understand this either. Any church that supports a missionary should be evangelizing in their own community, but in some cases, they do not. They “pay” missionaries to do evangelist work, and that is all they do. Sad.
Money is not the same for everybody.
Talking about the difference between an individual supporting us versus a local church, I note that it is rare and inexplicable how a church of 50 some people cannot between them support a missionary very well. One of my churches (in the country) was sending us $15 a month in the 2010s. That is hard to understand. They had about 30 people when I last visited them. $15 was a meal for two at McDonalds. One meal. They could not come up with that between them. But I have individuals that support me for $150 to $500 and more coming from just a couple with children. I do not understand how the money is so difficult for one, and possible for the other.
Patience is not a Good thing if you have it, but it is Essential
Everything depends on God moving. Unfortunately, we should be praying first and depending on prayer more than anything else, but we depend on our own strength and this is bad.
Patience is essential in God’s work, the ministry. From one standpoint, resources come slowly. So you have to have patience in timing and working as these resources become available, and above all, be prayful in how to use what God gives you at this time. But much more than resources, working with people is a horrible thing.
From my 40 years in the ministry, I have come to some conclusions. Take them if you like and agree with them, or ignore them if not.
Most people are not saved.
Not most people in the world, most people in our churches. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a rare fruit that you really don’t see live in people. Rather than expecting it mostly of all people in a congregation, and that they live in a holy and pious way MOST OF THE TIME, I note that every once in a long while, you see something that could be a holy person, filled with the Holy Spirit. How sad!
Most people, including the best of Christians, are still working at a kindergarten maturity level
I have said many times in sermons, “When I retire, I will start a kindergarten because that is the level of maturity in the people that I have worked with all of my life and ministry”. What is that level of maturity? You put a bunch of little kids in a playground, and they are only interested in what they personally want, and if some other kids have that toy or ball, they use violence and aggression to take it away from them. Anything they don’t like, they use that same aggression against their “enemies”.
Most people want everybody else to be examples of the Bible, but they themselves are exempt
The Bible puts down requirements in the personal moral life of God’s ministers, but most people wanting to do something in the church totally ignore this in their own lives. While they themselves are divorced and remarried, they think that other people that have problems should be allowed to say a word every in church, but they themselves should get unlimited time to “shine their own glory” before the brethren. It is amazing that you can point to a single verse to them, and it disqualifies them because of their own life’s problems, but they never see that.
I notice that the people who criticize other brothers and sisters are the most gossipy and unforgiving people on the planet. Others cannot control their own children and make them go to church, but these gossips cannot be expected to force their own children to go to church, because “they don’t want to”. When “the screw turns” as the saying goes, they get upset because the pastor didn’t do more to reach the kids for Christ and make good Christians out of them.
I point out that kids will usually turn out going to church about 50% of the times that they saw their parents go. So if the parents only went every 2 or 3 months, their kids will be lucky if they hit church once or twice a year. But it will all be made up for when they die, and they get their moment of glory in the church when their casket is brought in.
Most people think big is good and godly
When you talk to people, it is unbelievable that people generally associate the size of the church building as well as the quality of furniture in that building as somehow related to that church being good in God’s eyes and also holy, godly. Since when? I don’t get it.
Along with this point, I always note, people complain about the lack of x thing at our church, yet they themselves cannot commit to supplying that thing. People complain that we don’t have a nursery, but none of the mothers themselves will volunteer to keep the kids. Teens the same. Every parent of a teenager wants the church to have all kinds of “fun” stuff for their kids at church. That is not seen in the New Testament. Yet, when it comes down to it, these parents are helpless in bringing food to youth functions or actually teaching the teens. Yea, it is an important need until you talk about paying for it.
See also Cargo Cult Gods