19th Mar, 2009

Sure-Fire Ways to Avoid Becoming a Missionary

A tongue-in-cheek look at some sure-fire ways to avoid becoming a missionary:

1. Ignore Jesus’ request in John 4:35 that we take a long hard look at the fields. Seeing the needs of people can be depressing and very unsettling. It could lead to genuine missionary concern.
(“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 energies on socially legitimate targets. Go after a bigger salary. Focus on getting a job promotion, a bigger home, a more luxurious car, or future financial security. Along the way, run up some big credit card debts.

3. Get married to somebody who thinks the “Great Commission” is what your employer gives you after you make a big sale. After marriage, embrace the socially accepted norms of settling down, establishing a respectable career trajectory and raising a picture-perfect family.

4. Stay away from missionaries. Their testimonies can be disturbing. The situations they describe will distract you from embracing whole-heartedly the materialistic lifestyle of your home country.

5. If you happen to think about missions, restrict your attention to 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.

6. Think how bad a missionary you would be based on your own past failures. It is unreasonable to expect you will ever be any better. Don’t even think about Moses, David, Jonah, Peter or Mark, all of whom overcame failures.

7. Always imagine missionaries as talented, super-spiritual people who stand on lofty pedestals. Maintaining this image of missionaries will heighten your own sense of inadequacy. Convincing yourself 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 or home country 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 ever blame you for not trying!

Hat tip to my British missionary friend, Lisa Taylor.


In No. 7 substitute the word pastor (or minister or bishop or any other full-time Christian worker) for missionaries because that works too!

Here’s another one: Don’t read anything that Luke wrote in the Bible.

Jerald’s last blog post..THE OFFER OF THE KINGDOM – Believing vs. Doing

3,4,7 were my favorites.

Guy Muse’s last blog post..Watch, Work, Walk

Perhaps I’m coming into this discussion a little too blindly, but, by such reasoning, we should all be career missionaries.

I don’t feel “called” there right now, but I consider my life a mission. I live out the example of the gospel, and I teach/speak/witness when it is called for (sometimes with great frequency, others not with such frequency).

I’m in a “field” right now, with my God-given scythe, watering can and seed bag sowing, watering and harvesting as the situation calls. My field isn’t in India or Uzbekistan or the Czech Republic. It is right here. Shouldn’t we not be working for the harvest like a missionary, no matter where God has placed us?

Jared, sounds like you are doing it right to me. Work where God has called you and nowhere else! On the other hand…. If you keep being faithful to God where you are I won’t be surprised if He moves you on to Uzbekistan!

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