05 December 2007

More on the 12 mistakes

by Frank Turk



Pressed for time today, but we can knock off 2 or 3 from Winter's original list pretty quickly

6. The Mistake of Sending Only Money, Not Missionaries

Yeah, on the one hand, that's about right – that missions work is actually about sending a preacher – Romans 10 and all that.

On the other hand, Dr. Winter needs to decide whether or not he thinks missions agencies are the right sending vehicle – because if you're not sending money to missions agencies, the agencies aren’t going to be around very long. It certainly can't be "only money", but we have to send missionaries.

I think it is also useful to point out that if missions agencies are the right vehicle, they should prolly be in some way recruiting people for missions work. I'm just sayin' that if the missions agencies are going to do the work of the local church in the NT, they should do the work and not dabble in it.

7. The Mistake of Sending Short-Termers, Not Long-Termers

Amen. Talked about it already a long time ago. Willing to hear the other side, but this is the rule which is validated by the proper exceptions.

8. The Mistake of Not Understanding Business in Mission and Mission in Business

Yeah, this is the "kingdom Now" stuff which needs its own special kind of beating. If this means we ought to be "good stewards" of the stuff we have, who can argue? If this means somehow changing Microsoft and the United Nations into organs of the Gospel somehow ... it seems to me this is both an unreasonable expectation and a violation of being in the world but not of the world.

That's all I have time for today. Talk amongst yourselves.







18 comments:

Libbie said...

Yeah, I said what I wanted to say about this on that other blog-post. Although I think you're slacking on the self-promotion lately, actually.

centuri0n said...

Believe me, my stats reflect it terribly.

Stefan said...

Yeah, that last one bugs me: "Not Understanding Business in Mission and Mission in Business" What does he even mean by it?

Enoch said...

Stefan,
I take the "Business in Mission and Mission in Business" to mean the use of entrepreneurial activities to get into countries closed to missions (Mission in Business) and the use of partnering with (non?)Christian organizations for help/support in non-gospel areas of missions (say, starting a hospital).
But I may be wrong.
When I wanted to be a missionary overseas, I first to go the "traditional" route, but when the money didn't come in, I considered some "alternative" way--work in-country.
Didn't work, but the mission I was with liked the idea of non-traditional entry.

Al said...

If this means somehow changing Microsoft and the United Nations into organs of the Gospel somehow ... it seems to me this is both an unreasonable expectation and a violation of being in the world but not of the world.

I think it has more to do with the Bill Gates as he was, geek in his garage... It may be a bit much to think about the Gates Foundation supporting The Slavic Reformation Society; but, those who are Bill Gates wannabes need to be aware that their company is not their own.

And they need to promise not to force bloated code on the masses.

al sends

SolaMeanie said...

Al,

Just do me a favor and keep George Soros out of it. (smile) That guy is beyond malevolent when it comes to Christian ministry.

Puritan said...

"6. The Mistake of Sending Only Money, Not Missionaries"

I'm not sure this is a mistake. I remember Paul Washer saying that brothers in parts of (I think it was) Africa, actually pray "God please don't send the Americans over and their brand of pop-Christianity."

Stefan said...

How about #6a, the Mistake of Sending Only Teabags?

Mark B. Hanson said...

Stefan,

When I was young, our church ladies saved used teabags to send to the missionaries. No joke.

Tim said...

7. The Mistake of Sending Short-Termers, Not Long-Termers

Amen. Talked about it already a long time ago. Willing to hear the other side, but this is the rule which is validated by the proper exceptions.


Our church participates in up to four projects each year, lasting from as little as 10 days to as much as 10 weeks. In three of the four projects we work in partnership with a local church (long-term partnership).

In the fourth, we're involved in a multi-year goal of establishing an indigenous church in a country that is hostile to the gospel (I'd rather not go into the details, given the public nature of the Internet).

Frank, I read the earlier blog post you linked, and on the whole I agree that STM work is nowhere near as effective as LTM work. However, our church uses STM projects as a way to stir up the hearts of members who might then go on to consider LTM work. At this time, our church of 300 has a dozen or so people who are actively planning and training to go into LTM in the next 5 years.

centuri0n said...

Tim:

I said that clearly in the post I linked to, and less-clearly when I said, "this is the rule which is validated by the proper exceptions."

Rob Hughes said...

"6. The Mistake of Sending Only Money, Not Missionaries"

There is certainly no reason why we should not send both. Practically speaking both are important. There is wisdom in training up the locals of an area instead of sending through missionary after missionary. Money is needed to do just that.

wenxian said...

[I think it is also useful to point out that if missions agencies are the right vehicle, they should prolly be in some way recruiting people for missions work. I'm just sayin' that if the missions agencies are going to do the work of the local church in the NT, they should do the work and not dabble in it.]

Hello all,

This part made me think of something that might be related to the post. I am seeking for your godly opinions on this.

(1)Because there are many agencies today that do evangelism and it demands committment in some way or another, when there is a clash of committment between work at a local church and work in such agencies? Who has priority?

(2) Secondly, are these parachurch organisations ever mentioned in idea or in name in the bible? I think the 'universal church' is not an organisation. Because a hidden agenda of an organisation is its own survival above all things?

Is local church empowered biblically to call believers to always put the needs of the local church above parachurch organisational committments?

Thank you all so much for your time.

Al said...

Well, this is thread has been a little, um, non-controversial...

Perhaps some Santa talk?

al sends

Banjara Barnabas Project said...

"The Mistake of Sending Only Money, Not Missionaries"

Considering how much it costs to send one Western Missionary overseas, not to mention the language and cultural barriers he or she must cross; it might well be a mistake to send missionaries and not money only. It seems like we ought to be able to trust God to work in and through indigenous missionaries to advance the cause of Christ in foreign lands. In many places an indigenous missionary can be supported for $50 to $100 a month. They know the language and culture and more quickly and effectively do the work. While there was a day in which sending needed to be the primary missionary method, today there are men and women in close proximity to most of the unreached world that are ready and willing to go and preach the gospel and plant churches.

While it will take a major paradigm shift in thinking for many to adopt this different way of doing missions, hopefully many will take the time to consider it with an open mind and heart. Check out ministries like Christian Aid (there are several organizations named Christian Aid, the one I am referring to is based out of Charlottesville, Va. It has been around for 50 years and has been aided in the past by men like Billy Graham, Dawson Trotman and Donald Grey Barnhouse). Or look into Gospel for Asia. Their work is more focused on India but still has the philosophy of supporting these indigenous ministries. It is less costly and more effective.

SolaMeanie said...

I always find the "business" thing troubling. The d**il is in the details of what is meant. If we're talking tentmaking i.e. the Apostle Paul, Priscilla and Aquila, fine. But if we're talking about the mega-church Wall Street marketing approach, no. I know of a local church that operates out of its own shopping mall, and they give money to the local public school system. That has generated no small amount of controversy.

Banjara Barnabas Project said...

Second comment on business/mission "mistake." I do think the point is being missed. As far as I know it is not about trying to make MS into a Christian business. It is about Christian businessman thinking strategically about how they can use their business skills to advance the cause of Christ in other lands.

MadTownGuy said...

You can read about what Ralph Winter says about this subject at:

http://www.ralphwinter.org/A/view.htm?id=25§ion=7&part=1

It’s important to understand what Winter means by “mission” which is probably different from what most of us understand it to be. This is my take on what he means by the Business=Mission connection:

1. Indigenous business with a Kingdom flavor is intended to redeem the culture (the Cultural Mandate)
2. The Evangelistic Mandate consists of destroying the works of the devil, including pathogens, disease and violence in creation (i.e., carnivorous animals, birds of prey and the like)
3. The Cultural Mandate and the Evangelistic Mandate are both necessary for the promotion of God's kingdom
4. Merely preaching the “gospel of salvation” is a superficial remedy; the “gospel of the kingdom” must be promoted. So says Winter: “What is our business under God? Is it good enough to traverse the globe with good but relatively superficial remedies? Does not our mandate derive from the larger, Biblical purpose of defeating the intelligently designed works of the Devil and in that way restoring glory to God?”

Similarly, Landa Cope of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) states in her book, “An Introduction to the Old Testament Template: Rediscovering God’s Principles For Discipling All Nations” --

"The Message Is The Kingdom
This means when we preach salvation alone we are missing the majority of God's kingdom message. Salvation is essential. There is no other way of entry into the Kingdom of God. But salvation is the entry into the kingdom; it is not the goal or the Kingdom itself. By making it the goal we have lost most of God's message. (p. 147) . . .

Our destiny is not salvation
God died to save us and desires salvation for all. The only way into the Kingdom of God is through Jesus Christ, but salvation is not God's ultimate goal. The new birth is a means to an end." (p. 150)

I would observe that life is short and eternity is very, very long. Focusing on redemption of the temporal is therefore a very short-sighted approach, and is not at all what Christ meant when He instructed us to pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."