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6 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2008 - 12:55PM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
My son is going on a missions trip next spring to Mexico. While he is there, he is going to help build a house for a family. This got me thinking about our local Habitat for Humanity, and how many "missions" type work is available in our own back yard. I also started to think about the missionaries we send to places like Africa, and the missionaries Africa sends to other countries.

Why do people go to other countries to be considered missionaries? What would happen if we did missions in our own countries...wouldn't that save a lot in travel expenses and other costs? Or is there a reason that we send people out and other countries send people here? What are some missions type jobs we could be doing in our own countries that are not considered missions, simply because they are local? What are some missions type jobs you do in your community?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2008 - 12:57AM #2
birwin4
Posts: 570
I think the usual definition of Missionary is one who works in another culture. Someone who works in their own culture would be an evangelist.
Now there is no doubt in my mind, after being a missionary for 23 years, that the better work is done by evangelists because they know the culture,  language and the belief systems of the group. Previously, someone needed to bring the gospel to unreached tribes, languages and ethnic groups. In this day and age the indigenous church is better able to carry on the work and the cross-cultural missionary is only needed to train and then step side and let the local workers do the job. There may still be specialist work, such as medical and Bible translation,  that only qualified non-indigenoue workers can do but hopefully that, too, will soon be the province of the local church.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2008 - 9:37AM #3
War_Eagle
Posts: 947
[QUOTE=Anesis;899496]My son is going on a missions trip next spring to Mexico. While he is there, he is going to help build a house for a family. This got me thinking about our local Habitat for Humanity, and how many "missions" type work is available in our own back yard. I also started to think about the missionaries we send to places like Africa, and the missionaries Africa sends to other countries.

Why do people go to other countries to be considered missionaries? What would happen if we did missions in our own countries...wouldn't that save a lot in travel expenses and other costs? Or is there a reason that we send people out and other countries send people here? What are some missions type jobs we could be doing in our own countries that are not considered missions, simply because they are local? What are some missions type jobs you do in your community?[/QUOTE]

First of all, according to the Biblical model of missions, it's not about building houses (although that is certainly a noble thing to do) but about preaching the Gospel, discipling new Christians, and planting churches.

Once, I signed up for a "missions" trip to Appalachia. We got there and the whole thing was about building houses. Not one person in our group ever shared the Gospel with anyone. In fact, I was told that I was disrupting the "missions" trip by constantly witnessing and that, if I didn't stop, I would be sent home.

Unfortunately, I let them bully me and I ended up putting up a lot of drywall and not sharing the Gospel. I can't help but wonder how many people in that community are in Hell now because of our disobedience.

As the late, great Dr. Adrian Rogers said, "Acts of charity are a noble thing to do and God does, indeed, call us to do acts of charity. But if all you're doing is acts of charity without sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then all you've done is to make this world a moe comfortable place to go to Hell from."
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