Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I've titled this blog "Africa is the only Mission Field" because that seems to be most of our attitudes when it comes to doing missions—especially us Americans.
Very rarely do I hear people talking about—and being excited about—going out in to their own cities to do mission work. Sure, we have the occasional volunteer-at-a-soup-kitchen day, or clean-up-the-park day, but do we ever do mission work in our own town/city like we do in foreign countries? I'm not saying that foreign missions are bad—we definitely need to go to foreign countries not only to be on mission but also to be encouraged by brothers and sisters from different walks of life.
BUT, do we ever get as excited about going down to our Main Street/Downtown to share Jesus as we do when we are planning a trip to [insert favorite mission spot here]?
If you do, then GREAT!!!
However, I think if most of us are really honest with ourselves, we aren't. And why not?
Here are a few reasons I believe we aren't as mission-minded in our own communities are we are globally.
- Our Reputation
- American's don't need Jesus anymore
- Social Media
And now to elaborate….
When we share Christ with someone, we not only put ourselves out there to be labeled as a "Jesus Freak", but we also have to be vulnerable with people. I think one of the greatest ways to show Christ's love and redemptive power is to tell people my story—my true story, junk included. Just because I grew up in church with loving parent's and a fantastic church family doesn't mean that I've lived a squeaky clean, no hardships, life. People need to know that. And when I tell people that, my reputation (especially in the small town of Licking) has the chance of being shattered. And honestly, that holds me back sometimes.
Here's what gets me: why in the world do I care about what Joe down the street thinks of me, while at the same time, not really caring what Jesus thinks about me?! If I truly cared about how Christ viewed my life, I wouldn't give a what about Joe. But I do. And I think most of us are this way.
Challenge: Do something so radical that people can't help but call you a Jesus Freak J
American's don't need Jesus anymore
Okay, this isn't what it sounds like. Of course, we need Jesus!! The point of this statement is that (as a whole) American society seems to feel like we have already been evangelized, so it's time to move on. We are a 'good' country, so we just need to take Jesus elsewhere…He's done what He can here.
Whether we like to believe it or not, we need Jesus maybe more now than ever.
Just because we have running water and a McDonald's on every corner doesn't mean we are any better off spiritually than people living in the jungles of the Amazon…
That's all I have to say about that.
Let's be honest. Most of us would rather tweet a Bible verse that might be read by 37 people [that's how many followers I have J], or it might not. We seem to be consumed with being online rather than being on the streets.
I know this is an area that I really need work in.
We make excuses for being online—I can minister to my unsaved friends by chatting on Facebook, or I can get loads of resources for my youth group. While the internet can be a fantastic witnessing and growth tool, we (I) need to do a better job at moderating how much time I put in on the great Book of Faces vs. how much time I spend sharing Jesus with people.
So. With that said, I hope that I have offended some people. Because if I have, then it means we need to do some work J
Please don't take this as a "Kayla is super against foreign missions…" type of thing. I'm not. I really want to go overseas to do mission work…and I want to go soon. But, I do think that we don't need to dwell on when we're going overseas, or get hung-up on our last trip to Africa. We need to remember those times and press on to duplicate them in our local coffee shop. We need to plan our trip to Peru while talking to the drunk on the corner about how Christ has changed our lives.
Let's stop being so wrapped up in our American-ness that we forget there is a mission field right outside our doors…
Soli Deo Gloria