Sunday, December 18, 2016

3 Common Sense Tips for Missionaries

The missions program in most churches across America is fundamentally flawed. I’m talking about in independent fundamental Baptist churches that preach the truth and have soul winning. Most of the IFB pastors I talk to agree that the current system is broken, but they can’t always put their finger on a solution.

1. A Missionary Needs to Know the Language

“Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” 1 Corinthians 14:19

Missionaries need to speak the language of the place where they are planning to be a missionary. These guys that don’t speak any foreign language will say that God is calling them to a country where people don’t speak English. They’ll spend years on deputation raising support, and when they get to the mission field, they’ll sit around in language school on the Lord’s dime. Churches are paying people for years before they ever do any real work. Supporting a full time missionary who isn’t preaching the gospel is neither practical nor biblical.

“Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:14

If you don’t already speak another language, then why not go to an English-speaking country? How about an island in the Caribbean or one of the many African countries where they speak English?

2. He Needs to go Somewhere that is Receptive

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” Matthew 10:14

A missionary in Germany quickly realized after he got there that the German people aren’t very receptive, so he started targeting refugees and foreigners who spoke English. This guy’s ministry was extremely successful as evidenced by the fact that he was baptizing several hundred converts per year! Other missionaries criticized him by saying things like, “Well, I’m here to reach Germans.” A soul is a soul, folks! I guarantee you that, when that church started thriving, a few actual Germans took notice. Focus on the most receptive communities wherever you are, and you’ll always reach others in the process.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

3. He Needs to Bring Forth Fruit

“And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” Luke 13:8-9

Somebody needs to dung these lazy missionaries. Being a missionary should be no different than any other job where you get told off or fired when you aren’t being productive enough. The next time a supporting church receives a lame missionary letter, the pastor ought to call up that missionary and give him some dung!

The reason there’s no accountability with missionaries today is because each church sends very little money to each missionary. If I’m supporting a missionary for 50 dollars a month, I’m not going to care as much about what he’s doing as I would if I were sending 2000. Instead of supporting so many missionaries, why doesn’t one church commit to fully supporting one missionary? Either that, or perhaps a few churches could each send the guy a thousand bucks a month. That way, the supporting churches will be more concerned about seeing actual results.

Churches need to make sure they are supporting legitimate soul winners and not “moochinaries.” We don’t have a high-pressure missions program, but when you put extra money in the offering plate, I want you to get the maximum bang for your buck. I don’t want to invest in 30 losers for a few dollars each. Instead, I would rather invest in just a few winners, SOUL WINNERS.

Here is the sermon, Common Sense Missions.


Anonymous said...

Amen! You are bang on the mark. You did a sermon on the same thing a few years ago and it was like, have you been to our country? You had described the situation to a tee. People who go to a country to start a church or mission; do no soul-winning, they just start a small church where nobody even knows the concept of soul-winning, and hard preaching doesn't exist; the "drive to win souls" was just a drive to hand out 1500 tracts; and of course the drive to get the garden looking better! I've seen where people just dump their tracts in a pile in an advert stand in a mall, or they put a few tracts on benches. (and they were lousy tracts too - one gave a works salvation, one didn't even give an answer to the question how to get saved!)

Sadly when a REAL man of God wants to come here, the sons of Belial have him banned. But God always finds a way of course.

Anonymous said...

Well said Pastor.

There's a chicken-egg problem in missions today that's affecting mission success. Bona fide IFB churches will now have to do the same things differently.

I believe the Apostle Paul showed a glimpse of the new old model where missions establish churches "en loco" to support them, instead of the newfangled "mission board" model, where the mission is a "state department" of (a) church(es). If a church or co-missionary went rogue in Paul's day, the missionary was at liberty to reprove and rebuke on the security of other churches that had his back. Paul's epistles document some examples (e.g., Barnabas and John Mark vs. Demetrius and Timothy).

The mission board model is what has gotten Brother Ram into a straitjacket because the churches that support him are not his creations, but rather he has solicited them. Brother Kirchway is directly affiliated to FWBC, as will FWBC Malawi etc. Mission support from Brother Kirchway's work will come directly from the affiliate church. In reality though (and as you have stated before), Brother Kirchway should become an independent missionary eventually supported by churches he has established throughout Southern Africa in case you go (God forbid!). The probability of that is admittedly miniscule, but we have 1 Corinthians 10:12 (KJV) to remind us of it.

It is therefore, exciting to watch all the work you are doing in Malawi and, more recently, Guyana. Please keep up the good work.