figuratively) recently wrote a scathing indictment of the church in
America, in terms of its half-hearted pursuit of the Kingdom of God.
And that sort of lukewarmness gets imported to the mission field as a
result. Unprepared missionaries with little church planting skills,
few tangible professional skills, little if any understanding of
cross-cultural issues, and even less experience fully living out the
Christian life every second of every day.
It is indeed saddening to realize how little of our lives we devote to
the faith here in this country. We settle for part-time Christianity
when God invites us and expects us to be full-time Christians. We
tell God we'll give Him what's left over once we've taken care of our
stuff: our job, our bills, our family. And since we find we have
little left, no matter how faithful we are with it, there's still 40+
hours of our work week and 90% of our income that we leave
under-utilized for eternal purposes.
This magazine was appropriately sharp about this development. We have
devolved a grand story into a bland one, wrapped it in modern-day
American comfort, and then are incredulous when we go to other
countries, have little success, and wonder why we add so little value
to the work God is doing among the citizens of that country.
All of us who attend church, not just those who have gone forth, are
at fault. All of us need to step up and see how great a comfort and
challenge it is that God invites Himself into our lives as Lord of the
totality of it. Would that we do so - that every role we play, every
cent we earn and spend, every second of our days, be missiological in
terms of pointing to His greatness and proclaiming His message.
Then, whether in our home countries or elsewhere, we might see and be
a part of great things. For God uses men and women in spite and
through their weaknesses, that His greatness might be all the more
manifested. But however weak the vessel, He still needs full-timers,