If We Send Them Away, They’ll Go

Don’t look so excited. This post isn’t about pesky salesmen, your mother-in-law, or your twenty-five year old son who will not move out of the house.

It is about foreign missionaries, and I stand confident that my title is correct. Yes, yes, I know! Someone’s already shouting the obvious argument against my title. ‘God calls and sends His missionaries, not people.’

Well, I feel better now… how about you? It’s not our fault that a massive number of missionaries can’t acquire funding and get into lands filled with people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s God’s fault, right? If He called them… why hasn’t He sent them?

Have we misunderstood their call? Or, maybe when God calls an individual out of His Church to enter the foreign mission field, He is calling the Church as well. If the Church is the body of Christ, and every member plays a role in ensuring the body is healthy (Romans 12:4-5), then maybe Jesus is calling His body to stretch, rather than perform an amputation. Maybe God has already provided the resources for every one of these missionaries to be where they have been called to go, but it’s unavailable to them because it’s sitting in our wallets and bank accounts.

I know; this really sounds out of character for me. I truly don’t like sounding mean-spirited, but I fear we are one day going to get a rude awakening when we stand before our Lord and give an account of how urgent the furthering of the gospel was to us. I have no doubt that our God is sovereign, and men do not thwart His plans, but I also have no doubt that God wants to reach these people with His glorious gospel. His Great Commission is still in the Bible, and He has given the responsibility of its commands to His Church.

So what do we do? Some say, “The problem is too big! We can’t possibly support these thousands of missionaries on top of what we’re already doing… can we?” Now who is it that doubts God’s ability to call and send?

Maybe they’re right though. Maybe we can’t do everything. But we can do something. We can all pray. We can pray for these families and we can pray for wisdom. We can pray for the wisdom that comes only from God; a wisdom that shows areas of our lives that might allow for the opportunity to support these families. Maybe we can eat soup one night a week. Maybe our entertainment spending can be adjusted. Maybe we can just be creative; we find ways to make things happen when we want them to.

Hopefully, I haven’t lost all of my readers at this point. But even if I have, I know these were words that needed to be heard. I needed to hear them. And I think others do too.

As believers in America, we seem to have forgotten this world is not our home. We are sojourners looking for a city not made with men’s hands. We are called to spend and be spent for the Kingdom of God. We are called to reach every corner of the world with the life-giving message of Jesus Christ.

I’m very aware that through our churches, each of us supports the mission field. We give to special offerings and even have funds for specific missionaries. But I think believers can do more. Here’s a great thought! How about adopting a missionary? Why not find one of these under-funded missionaries and commit to helping them with twenty or fifty or one hundred dollars a month so that they can get into these lands where God has called them?

My pastor has touched my heart with his outlook on the people of God. He makes clear his goal is never to cause guilt. Guilt is gone as fast as it comes. His desire is for the people of God to once again fall in love with Jesus. If that happens, he says, everything else will take care of itself. If we’ll just fall in love with Jesus, I have a feeling missionaries will be boarding airplanes really soon, and God will be glorified in places we’ve never even heard of, places where they’ve never heard of Him.

Spend some time researching this great need. I believe you’ll come to the same conclusion I have; we need to get involved… soon. Here’s a couple of options to prayerfully look over:

All Senegal For Christ

LINK-UP Missions, Inc.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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30 Responses to If We Send Them Away, They’ll Go

  1. Pingback: Meeting Immeasurable Needs « Resting in His Grace

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  3. jelillie says:

    You are so right brother! God is calling us to do more. If we do we will be blessed more! Blessing begets blessing!

  4. I never comment twice on the same post, so forgive me if I make an exception this time. Your post just reminded me of Church Service this morning. On Tuesday Jan 31, 2012 my church has a missions truck to load. I forgot I volunteered for that today. And I will be posting pics of course. Since I can’t give money, I can give of my time and labor from my heart. You are right, there are all sorts of ways to give. Love you my friend!

  5. Well I had my guilt trip laid on me for the day. Don’t worry Mike, I am still an avid reader and supporter of this blog and still think of you as a treasured friend. But what about us who live on disability and can barely pay our bills each month? Don’t you think we would like to give? Heck, I just got a car, and by the grace of God, my church had one to give me remember? Best I can ever do until God opens a way for me to do better, is what I do. I give of my time and labor to the causes of my church. Remember Christmas? I also do my best to get them to support various missions as I am made aware of them. However, other than prayer, I can’t do much else. Your post kind of made me feel guilty and bad Mike. A lot of us WANT to help but do not have the means to do it. And SOME of us feel pretty bad about it as it is. And then we read this post. God bless you my friend though. I guess it needed to be said.

    • mtsweat says:

      Hey brother. I’m really glad you posted this comment, because it gives the opportunity to address your concern mentioned. First, please understand the post is not meant to lay a guilt trip on anyone. As the paragraph towards the end notes, guilt is a poor motivator. What I feel guilty about this moment, I will forget about tomorrow. I’ll find a means of explaining away what caused the guilt. The motivator believers share is the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, we have the ability to quench or ignore His leading. The bottom line is, the only effective way to live the Christian life is to make our dwelling in Jesus (abide in Me).

      This post isn’t meant to insinuate every believer can financially support every ministry where God is working, but to express a great need. Here is the most important thing all believers can do for these families… Pray! The truth is none of us have the provisions to make this happen. Only God can get these families into their respective nations. But we can hear and obey the command to pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).We can really believe that our God is able (just as He has met needs in your life), and continue to petition Him to meet these needs.

      When we continue to pray for them, we are surrendering to the knowledge that we can’t do this. That’s where God wants us. Totally dependent on Him. I firmly believe when we reach that point, totally dependent and trusting, then He will move. Where will the provision come from? I don’t know, but maybe since God owns it all anyway, He will move those who do have an abundance to realize the great need and help.We have records of great miracles.

      Thanks for your loving concern in this matter, Bob. I know you always have your heart in the right place. Please continue to pray for these families brother… expecting God to move mightily in our midst.

    • cc says:

      Dear Bible Man, the measure of the gift is not how much you give, but how much is left after you give. Those who give only out of their abundance are not doing a greater work than those who give out of their poverty…the Lord seems to say just the opposite in Luke 21:1-4. But mostly I felt compelled to reply because of your statement “other than prayer, I can’t do much else”. Your precious prayers are not an excuse for a small financial gift, they are a rich jewel of monumental importance deposited in the lives of those you pray for. Only heaven will show what you financed with your prayer work. Blessings.

      • mtsweat says:

        Well said, Mrs. C… As we’ve recently heard 🙂 prayer is our single most effective tool. I love your description… ‘a rich jewel of monumental importance.’Thanks for sharing!

  6. Steven Sawyer says:

    I agree with you 100 percent. I belong to a small, but missionary-minded church that sends teams each year to Romania, Ukraine, Argentina and Tanzania. I have been on three short-term missionary trips, and I see the need to support not only our own teams, but those missionaries who have been called to, and live in, the field across the world in places where poverty, hunger and sickness are the norms rather than the exceptions. This is a wonderful message that all God’s children need to hear. Thank you for rekindling my own missionary spirit.

  7. Pingback: A Pending Message to N’Djamena | Resting in His Grace

  8. wdednh says:

    Hi, Thank you for taking the time and reading my blog. God Bless you and yours. 🙂

  9. willofheart says:

    I am happy I find your blog through nightshade(sherline), I’ll get back after reading some…

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Actually, I’m gonna guest post it if you don’t mind. You are soo right in many of your accounts. The church needs to help the church fulfill the great commission. We all have a role to play and some withhold their talents and refuse to work to multply what God wants us to do, and that is spread the Word to the entire Word so that when it is fulfilled, the end will come. He is awaiting a glorious bride but we are lampstands that are not ready since we take up too much space in the pews and keep the change in our pockets. I say Give Change(money) for Change (in this world). You sow in order to reap a harvest but the harvest can’t be reaped if labourers are few. I have so much to say but thank you so much for posting this! I share your sentiments exactly. 😀

    • mtsweat says:

      Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for our responsiblity to carry and send the gospel forward. It is exciting to hear one who is excited! By all means, plese share these words with any who will listen, friend. God bless you.

  11. Pingback: Great Post On Missions. | A Mission To Chad, Africa

  12. dannywiebe says:

    Great post. Great thoughts on missions. Really appreciate your take & can’t agree more with you. We need more “voices” like yours out there. May God bless you!

    • mtsweat says:

      Hey Danny. Great of you to stop by. Thanks. We are working to get all of your info about your ministry loaded and linked to the site. Lord willing, we will soon be posting about your call and where God is sending the Wiebe family. The Piper and Platt videos were something! So much so, we placed them over here also. God’s blessings

  13. lambskinny says:

    Michael,

    Are you familiar with the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church? http://www.cmalliance.org/

    They used to support their missionaries (in the 80s) — I hope they still do!

    I strongly disagree (and by that I’m not saying you agree) that a missionary family should “find their own funding.” I believe God calls the CHURCH as a whole — which of course is made up of individuals — to support specific missionaries and mission fields.

    When I put monies in the collection plate and mark the check “Missions” I expect it to go to a missionary, not to pay for a new parking lot, the pastor’s salary, the Christian school attached to the ‘campus’, etc.

    Blessings, brother. Carley

    • mtsweat says:

      Amen Carley. There are many of us who would love to see you move this crusade forward. We will back you good friend. Unfortunately, the crusade will have to begin in our homes, and not on the steps of the church. Giving in the Missions area is suffering. I can’t speak for others, but I assure you, the church I attend would love nothing better than to fully support an entire army of missionaries. And we would! Except, the money is not in the church’s account to do it with… as my paper says, it’s in ours. Remember, when it comes to the church’s involvement in missions, and all others activities, it’s level of involvement is influenced by our wallets. The church doesn’t have God’s money to spend until we relinquish our hold on it. Thanks friend and God bless.

      • lambskinny says:

        So, I’m still a little confused… I admit.
        If a church has a budget, shouldn’t its budget include a certain amount for missions?
        In other words, if — oh, let’s say — 10,000 dollars comes in, perhaps 1000 dollars should be earmarked for missions — period; i.e. no matter what.
        I mean, pastors get salaries; taxes get paid; heating, water, etc. get paid. Why should missions suffer?
        I guess — this is my point.
        Blessings, brother. Carley

        • mtsweat says:

          Hi Carley. While I’m not really knowledgeable on how these things work at all, speaking from how things are done within the denomination I’m affiliated with. Yes, there are designated mission funds. No, they are not nearly enough. You are right (as I said, I can only speak from my limited amount of info), a certain percentage is given to missions. There are also special collections, such as Lottie Moon, and Annie Armstrong offerings. All of this goes directly to missions. The problem is the unimaginable need. A quick search on the net will give you an idea of how unapproachable an answer is. You will realize only God can accomplish this. A staggering number of nations have communities facing physical and spiritual starvation. I guess the point of my article is to point the finger at me and say, are you really doing everything you can to meet these needs? There are currently tens of thousands of missionaries desiring to go, but there’s not enough funding to get even a small fraction of them there. We, in America, have been blessed with an unbelievable level of excess. What we’re talking about isn’t, as Paul would say, to require people to bring suffering upon themselves… just give from our abundance. A small monthly commitment to an adopted missionary from each believer and soon the problem would be gone. And we would look like a people who cared whether the gospel was preached to the entire world. Thanks for your concern, Carley. It is good that people seek the answers and then move forward. God bless, good friend.

  14. CC says:

    “I know I will be chastised for saying this, as I have before, but I believe every believer must be involved in missions on every front.” How can you be chastised for repeating the Great Commission? It is not the Large Suggestion! The mission of the church is missions. Our choice is to go, to send, or to disobey. There is great power in prayer, but those who invest in praying will find themselves investing in monetary ways also. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

    • mtsweat says:

      Praise the Lord! Just when I was expecting a sideswipe, the calvary shows up! I love your statement linking prayer and monetary support, Mrs C. I believe you’re dead on. And so true… giving (as well as all the ways we imitate Him) identifies us with our Lord, who is of course Love. As for your question asked in obvious bewilderment, I firmly agree, it is not the Large Suggestion. Unfortunately it seems, our generation has submerged itself so deep in materialism and worldliness, that even the slightest hint of expected giving to foreign missions brings on angered words like, “We have enough needs right here, we don’t need to go or spend there.” But I doubt a person with that attitude will be meeting many needs here either. In reality, I’m pretty confident the excuse, “we have enough needs here” is western culture lingo for, “hey, if I give to them, I may not be able to afford my new ipad (or pod or ped or, whatever… it will be obsolete in six to eight days and another version will be out), or Harley, or…” Anyway, thanks for all the comments, encouragement, and inspiration. Blessings

      • CC says:

        Perhaps part of the problem is that we use the word “foreign” before the word “mission”. Mission is from everywhere (wherever the Lord is known as King) to everywhere. The boundary is not between home and abroad, but between faith and unbelief. God is on a mission…as He so amazingly asks us to be co-workers with Him.1 Cor 3:9, 2 Cor 6:1.

  15. lambskinny says:

    I was surprised recently to discover that some missionaries are sent out from their churches without any funding of any kind from the church; they have to gather their own funding before leaving. That is not how I remember missions when I was a child.

    Is this the state of the church today?

    PS Thank you so much, Michael for your post.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thank you, Carley. Honestly I know very little save for what I’ve gathered reading some online statistical reports and a couple of books, along with a pretty good article at the site, adoptamissionary.com. But I have friends who are currently serving and some who are trying to attain funding so they can go. I’m not real sure how it all works, but I know they are responsible for some and maybe all of their funding. The local churches do contribute greatly, but as you can imagine, the cost is pretty significant. On the site I mentioned, the author claims most of the support comes from individual contributors. That makes matters more difficult when individuals live in the time of an economic downturn and wonder if they will be employed tomorrow. Still, I believe we have to be involved and trust God to meet needs. One of the greatest blessings in life is hearing and reading of these families and the victories they experience in Christ through all the difficulties… and knowing my wife and I can play a very small part in it. I literally drool at the thought of souls saved in these nations where once no one living there even knew of Jesus. I know I will be chastised for saying this, as I have before, but I believe every believer must be involved in missions on every front. Even those third world countries that we seem to pretend don’t exist.Every believer may not be able to contribute monetarily, but they can all pray and encourage. Still, I think the many of us can contribute but will not.I’m afraid there’s always a reason not to… Satan will ensure he keeps those reasons front and center. Thanks for all the great encouragement and support, Carley. God bless.

  16. granbee says:

    I completely agree with you about foreign missions. Many of my Gideon friends do the best work I know in spreading the Gospel. Also, those churches with sister-diocesan,sister-conference bonds in other countries like Haiti are doing wonderful work. But, if you ever look at any broadcast television, you know how great the need is right here in the U.S. to SAVE SOULS, to bring folks into a state of saving grace! We here in NW Alabama churches are continuting to experience this as we work on disaster relief after the massive tornadic damage of April 27, 2011.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thank you for reading Granbee, and commenting (not much response to this post… hmmm). You are absolutely correct in your statement. The need is great right here in America. And we should be diligently at work proclaiming the gospel to every man, woman, and child in this nation. I place the emphasis on foreign missionsa on my blogsite due only to a matter of statistics. 90% of the world’s evangelical Christians live and serve in America, which makes up only 10% of the world’s population. 10% of the world’s evangelical Christians are left to minister to 90% of the world’s population. To me, that’s staggering. Currently, there are some 40,000 missionaries who have surrendered to go to these 90%, but are underfunded and many can’t reach levels to get them out of the states.

      A missionary from China once descibed it to me this way. Two holes have to be dug. 1000 men are digging one hole and 1 man is digging the other. Both holes need to be dug now. That’s the disparity between North American missions and foreign missions. I praise the Lord for those who are totally surrendered to reach the lost in America, but someone has to see the great need on foreign soil also.

      The other great difference is the poverty levels of these third world nations. The largest majority of these populations try to survive each day on less than we spend on an order of fries. Starvation and deaths due to illnesses related to malnutrition are taking out tens of thousands of children daily in many of these places. They need our intervention. But, with 60,000+ dieing each day, never having heard of Jesus, it’s crucial that we get our missionaries in there with the good news. Disasters (such as in Alabama) and the economic downturn in our nation has definitely complicated things, but we must remain focused on the tasks here and continue to make strides to get there. God bless good friend.

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