Monday, October 16, 2017

WHY ISN’T JESUS’ ASSIGNMENT DONE?

The following is submitted by Brad Buser of Radius. Radius trains cross-cultural workers in the skills needed to start healthy, viable and reproducing churches in the least areas of the world. For more info see radiusinternational.org. 

The church of Jesus Christ has been sending thousands of workers and putting hundreds of millions of dollars each year towards ‘missions’.  During the last 30 years alone with the amount of workers that have landed in various countries, the question must be asked… “Why haven’t we completed our task of seeing churches planted in every ‘tongue, tribe, and nation’?”
 
To oversimplify here would be unfair… and there are exceptions.  The issue of missionary turnover and lack of success IS complex, but there are some common threads that continue to hamper efforts, hurt potential career missionaries, and dampen the focus and zeal of sending churches.  When young couples that could have ‘changed the world’ come home broken or discouraged, it is difficult for local churches to send the next family into the fray.

So what are some of the current reasons we’re not making the progress we should?
 


1.      Unrealistic expectations for families.  The sacrifices and hardships that wives and children will endure must be acknowledged and prepared for!  Family issues top any list when actual reasons for missionary turnover are tallied.
 


2.      Workers are not ready for the extreme discipline of culture and language acquisition.  Some gospel workers go to the field not even knowing phonetics and phonemics.  How are they supposed to hear and mimic fine differentiations in sounds?  How can they avoid being seen, AND HEARD, as outsiders?  Some learn phonetics but have never mastered it in a live situation where they must start from scratch and go through the pain of being seen as a ‘slow awkward outsider’ for months.
 


3.      Many workers have a deep-seated sense they are NOT connecting with the people they are living among; they rightly wonder if the sacrifices they are enduring have a point to them.
 


4.      Vague goals - “I want to minister in Mongolia”, “Make disciples in Syria”, or even “I want to plant a church in northern India” are not enough to guide the worker through the many complex choices ahead of them. The long-term missionary lost in his business efforts who occasionally has religious discussions is becoming common.
 


5.      Social Media/Internet… which provides a haven for the lonely, frustrated, bored missionary. This hidden cause is quietly allowing missionaries to ‘live’ overseas, without fully BEING in the country they live. (Often times families and supporters are complicit as they ask the missionary to ‘regularly connect’ with them; not realizing how much of a day is spent anticipating that small Skype session.)



6.      ‘Diaspora’ work now draws many missionaries to stay right here in the USA!  Such re-labeling masks a significant shift in missionary allocations happening in some agencies.  Churches in Iowa end up funding missionaries working in Minneapolis while churches in Minneapolis fund missionaries going to India (or to a college campus right back in Iowa!).  When Paul and Barnabas were commissioned and sent out in Acts 13 they did not head off to Jerusalem. Of course, other ethnic groups were present in Jerusalem… but there was also a church in the area.



Obviously, each of these areas has many nuances and complexities to them, but these 6 issues are the main components of what is hindering progress towards planting actual churches among those language groups still without the gospel.


What hindrances do you see to finishing Jesus’ assignment of reaching every people, language, nation and tribe for His glory?

Monday, October 9, 2017

THOUGHTS ON WORK


Proverbs teaches, Plans succeed through good counsel; don't go to war without the advice of others. 
Proverbs 20:18



In reading some quotes today, I realized others may enjoy reading what others say about work as much as I do. Here are some of my favorite quotes about work.


“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda, Jedi Master.

“To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.”
 - Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook.

 “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” - Jason              Fried, founder of 37signal.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” - Guy Kawasaki, founder of AllTop.

“There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” - Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” - Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.

“Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” - Donald Trump, USA President.

“Always deliver more than expected.” - Larry Page, co-founder of Google.

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” - Mark Twain, author.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” - Albert Einstein, physicist.

“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” - Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Famer.

“It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So, plan for that.” - Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist.

“It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer.

“Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” - Tom Kelley, Ideo partner.

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., pastor, and Civil Rights leader.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” - Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas Edison, inventor.

“Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.” - Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author.

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” - David Ogilvy, co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather.

“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” - Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.

You can say anything to anyone, but how you say it will determine how they will react - John Rampton, entrepreneur and investor.

“Opportunities don't happen. You create them.”- Chris Grosser

“Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” - John D. Rockefeller, CEO, Founder Standard Oil.

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”- Thomas Jefferson, USA President.

“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” - Steve Jobs, CEO, Founder Apple.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, USA First Lady

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” - Michael John Bobak, digital artist.

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt, USA President.