Missions - Section 2

  • We are not seeking to import Christianity into our new culture. We are not seeking to communicate a set of doctrines and dogmas. We are not seeking to make people like us. We are not even seeking to make people into Christians like us. Instead, we are participating in the ongoing activity of the Spirit of God to encourage people as they grow in Christ.  - From location 466 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • This involves standing back and watching to see what unique form others' relationship with Christ takes. Communication is not a matter of clever strategies, manipulative methods or practiced speeches. Rather, it is one friend telling another friend about his Best Friend.  - From location 468 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • In order to communicate Christ with clarity and conviction, we must know him and be satisfied with him. If we have not found him to be the way, truth and life for ourselves, we certainly will not be able to persuade others that he is that for them.  - From location 470 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • If Christ has changed our lives, then why are we often hesitant and awkward when it comes to evangelism? In Out of the Saltshaker, author Becky Pippert writes, "The way we communicate is as important as what we communicate. In fact, the two cannot really be separated. Our attitude and style communicate content just as do our words. If we notice that non-Christians seem embarrassed, apologetic or defensive, it is probably because they are picking up our attitude. If we assume they will be absolutely fascinated to discover the true nature of the gospel, they probably will. If we project enthusiasm, not defensiveness, and if we carefully listen instead of sound like a recording ... non-Christians will become intrigued" - From location 474 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • Expose but don't impose. We do not try to convert people. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our role is not to force faith on others or to convince them of the errors in their beliefs and behaviors. Our role is to reveal Christ to them and invite them to consider faith in him.  - From location 480 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • Take it easy. Casual, relaxed references to Christ as a part of normal conversation are much more effective than anxiously plotting out how to "get a good word in about Jesus." We can talk about Jesus with the same freedom among non-Christians as among Christians.  - From location 482 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • Eliminate "God-talk." We need to find ways to communicate Christ in fresh, creative ways without Christian cliches or jargon.  - From location 484 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • Ask good questions. You don't need to have all the answers. Nor are you the defender of the truth of the gospel. God can defend God. Through questions, encourage others to explore what they believe about Christ.  - From location 484 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • Communication Gaps   - From location 493 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  
  • Write your testimony in your own words, as you might normally tell it. Limit it to two paragraphs. Circle all the words you used that might seem strange or confusing to someone not familiar with your specialized vocabulary (including the word testimony itself). - From location 498 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  

  • Rewrite it using words or images that you think would be more familiar to someone who has had no contact with Christians.  - From location 500 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn
  • For communication to be effective, it must relate to the real-life situation of the people with whom we are communicating. Less important than what is on our mind as the messenger is what is going on inside the minds and lives of the receptors. - From location 503 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn
  • There are three common principals for effective communication (see Table 6.2).  As you review them, reflect on ways you see them reflected in Jesus' communication with people. - From location 504 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  

 

What to say when you're invited to speak in church. Due to hospitality and a desire to learn from God, people often invite visitors to speak in church. Sometimes pastors will dispense with their prepared sermon to offer overseas visitors the pulpit. In these situations it is important to be prepared to give words of greeting and testimony. However, it is often acceptable and honoring of the people there if you keep this brief. You can explain that you have come to learn from them and ask the pastor to please go ahead with the sermon he or she has prepared. If you are unsure what to do, ask your host.  - From location 512 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn  

Life message presentation - In order to be prepared, it is well worth preparing words of greeting and a brief testimony now. Dr. Roy Barsness offers the following helpful guide for giving a testimony- From location 512 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

1)   In your sharing Pray for wisdom. 

2)   Write out your presentation.

3)   Relate one current situation in your life, being honest and not exaggerating (make sure it's a situation people there will understand, considering lifestyle and life-situation differences). Give enough details to arouse interest, but leave some unknowns. 

4)   Include one, but not more than two, Scripture verses. 

5)   Remember we are signs pointing to Jesus, not to our success, our church, our school or our country.

6)   Keep it short-no more than three minutes. 

7)   Do not use Christian jargon (such as saved, conviction or sanctified).

8)   People want to hear how Christ makes a difference in life now.

9)   Memorize your life message so you can deliver it naturally and with confidence.

10) Speak loudly, clearly and concisely, in a natural and relaxed tone of voice. Avoid assuming a "ministerial twang."

11)  Avoid mannerisms such as rubbing your nose, jingling coins in your pocket, saying "uh" or swaying.

12)  Look at your audience; do not stare at the ground or look only at one person.

13)  Smile. Be enthusiastic 

To be truly prepared for life, we need to know how to be fed, nourished and equipped with the resourceful life of Christ.  - From location 531 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

God will not send us into the battle without giving us the resources necessary to prevail. The one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world (1 Jn 4:4). God's strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). - From location 543 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

The name of Jesus - The first resource God gives us is the liberating awareness that Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and earth. We do not live in a world that is madly out of control. Evil is not without restraint. All things are under Jesus' ultimate authority. - From location 546 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

The armor of God - We often enter the world wearing only the helmet of salvation, knowing that we are forgiven and saved through Jesus Christ. A helmet is great, but without other armor we are thoroughly unprotected.  - From location 551 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

God has provided us with all the resources we need to manifest his authority over areas that the adversary seeks to dominate. Knowing how to use these resources is a vital dimension of maturing in Christ and engaging in ministry.  - From location 552 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

The power of the Holy Spirit in prayer  - We cannot minimize the significance of prayer. Note what Paul says we are to do once we are fully clothed with the armor of God: stand, pray and proclaim Christ. Prayer is not only our essential communication with the Lord. Prayer is not only our key to receiving resources for engagement in ministry. Prayer is also our most effective form of rebellion against the status quo. Through prayer we utter God's no to the forces of darkness and God's yes to the forces of the kingdom of light. Through prayer we agree with God's will that God's kingdom will come and God's will be done on earth with the same fullness as in heaven. Through prayer the power of God is further released for the transformation of the world. - From location 555 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

  • One of the most significant ministries we gain from our short-term service is the ability to pray more intelligently and passionately for the region of the world we visited. In prayer we participate in the work of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the highest and holiest dimensions of our calling and vocation as the people of God. - From location 561 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • The gospel weans us of our addictions to circumstances as our source of security and accomplishments as our definition of worth.  - From location 561 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • When we enter a new culture, the normal props that upheld our sense of security and worth are knocked out from beneath us. Suddenly, the old sources of identity are gone: the acquisitions and accomplishments, the titles and roles, the ability to meet others' expectations, the capacity to have our own expectations fulfilled. No one knows who we are. We're not even sure we know who we are! This crisis can leave us floundering and grasping for new props to hold up our sagging egos, or it can drive us into deeper intimacy with Christ. - From location 568 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • The true adventure of crosscultural ministry is finding Christ in the new situation and participating with him in his ministry there. Our fruitfulness in ministry and the fruit of the experience in our own lives partially depends on how we answer the question: Do we live in our circumstances, or do we live in Christ? - From location 568 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Journaling - Journaling is a helpful tool for deepening our focus on Christ.  - From location 576 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn        Review the following list of guidelines for journaling.

1)  Don't journal as a duty. Rather, approach it as writing a letter to a beloved friend.

2)  Begin with "Dear Lord," and then write a letter to God sharing your thoughts, fears, joys and concerns.

3)  Don't worry about being profound. Journal entries are not your memoirs but a private dialogue with God.

4)  Incorporate reflections on the Bible. This makes it a true dialogue. Choose one section of Scripture to study throughout your short-term service.

5)  Conclude by listening to God and expressing your thankfulness. Ask yourself what God may be seeking to say to you. What has been your experience with journaling? 

  • There is one more resource that is foundational to growth and fruitfulness in the midst of adversity.  It is found in remembering this simple truth: Ultimately, we do not serve people, programs, projects, our own ambitions or others' expectations. It is the Lord Christ whom we serve.  - From location 580 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve" (Col 3:23-24 NASB). We not only serve in Christ-in his name, life and power-but we also direct our service to Christ. Thus, we return again to the daily prayer of the Missionaries of Charity: "Lord Jesus, when I encounter you today in the unattractive disguise of the irritating, the exacting and the unreasonable, may I still recognize you and say, 'Sweet Jesus, what a privilege to serve you today!"' - From location 582 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Preparing to Return Home - You've just had one of the most life-changing experiences of your life, and all people seem to ask is, "How was it?" What are you supposed to say? "Fine"?  - From location 601 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Added to people's seeming disinterest in your trip is the frustration that you will inevitably feel over certain aspects of life in the West. Everything seems so fast, so busy, so glitzy, so expensive, so lonely, so extravagant.  - From location 602 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • We're gripped by culture grief. Culture shock is a normal part of entering into a new culture. The dislocation of entering into an unfamiliar world can produce a shock that even has physical manifestations. We lose our bearings, become disoriented and are unsure how to move forward. With time, we adjust and learn how to live effectively in the new context, becoming personally enriched through the process.  - From location 604 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Many people experience a similar shock when they return home, usually called "reverse culture shock." What we thought would be familiar now seems strange. We've changed, and our perspectives have changed. It's like entering a new world again. If we've been gone long enough, what once was home may have changed too. We're not sure how we fit in. The same shock of adjustment takes over.  - From location 607 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Prepare now to communicate then. As mentioned in chapter three, before leaving it is valuable to pray about our trip and how we will relay the experience when we return. Be praying now that God will help you to recognize • one or two people with whom he would have you maintain a relationship after you return home • one situation you encounter that encapsulates your experience. - From location 614 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • God wants to lead you into life-transforming, creative fruitfulness through what you experienced and learned. In your spiritual life, your lifestyle, your relationships, your vocation and the expression of your global citizenship, God has rich and wonderful fruit to express through you. - From location 643 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Your trip may be over, but a new journey has begun. In fact, the second journey may be one of the primary reasons why God called you to go on the first one. - From location 645 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Remember, you are building a life for the rest of your life. Therefore, it's essential to be patient and persistent. You may spend several months walking through these questions.  - From location 650 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • The following tips will help you in this process. Continue to keep a journal. Write in the form of letters to God, talking with God about what you are feeling, experiencing and thinking as you reenter. Write reflections on the "Eight Great Questions." Objectify your thoughts by writing them down. The remainder of this chapter will be a set of reflection questions. Discuss your reflections with others. Optimally, you might talk with your team members, another group of people reentering their home country from a short-term mission experience, a prayer partner or your spouse. You may want to make a commitment to meet monthly for several months after you return. Merely gathering to share photos and swap stories won't be sufficient. Enjoy abundant time with your debriefing partner. Encourage this person to listen to your reflections on these eight questions, as well as any others that seem pertinent. - From location 651 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • Be patient. You are in this for the long-term process-actually, for eternity. Therefore, allow yourself time as you work through this. Be patient not only with yourself but with others, who don't always understand you like you would want.  - From location 656 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • One more time-keep a journal. Sound repetitive? Chronicle your pilgrimage. Give yourself time to enjoy long dialogues with God. God is the author of this quest, and the author and perfecter of your faith. Keep God as a participant in the process.  - From location 658 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 


THE EIGHT GREAT QUESTIONS  - From location 659 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 

1)  Who am I? What have I learned about myself?

I have changed. Some of these changes are temporary, necessary adjustments to my short-term mission experience. Others are permanent changes that God wants to weave into the fabric of my life.

I have experienced new forms of conflict. Often the stress of a trip leads to significant conflict both with teammates and people in the community. What have I learned about forgiveness and conflict resolution? 

I have experienced myself in new ways. What surprised me about myself while on the trip? What strengths and gifts do I see God developing in me?

2)  Who is God? How has my understanding of God changed?

I may have encountered some of the other major world religions in new ways. How does the Christian faith relate to other faiths? What did I encounter in people of other faiths that surprised me? What did I see that I valued? How would I answer the question of whether devout people in other faiths need to believe in Christ? 

I may have seen forms of worship that are new to me. What is my understanding of spiritual gifts, especially speaking in tongues and the pursuit of miraculous signs and wonders?

My encounter with poverty, injustice and suffering may have raised some questions in my life. How do I reconcile the sovereign goodness of God with the suffering in the world? 

3)  Who are we? What have I learned about community? 

I have experienced new forms of dependency as well as hospitality. What have I learned about how to be a part of a welcoming community? How do I want to treat strangers in light of how I was treated? 

I may have experienced tension in interpersonal relationships. What have I learned about teamwork, confrontation, forgiveness and reconciliation?

I long for the same sense of community I experienced on the trip. How should I alter my lifestyle in order to make more room for people? What commitment do I want to make to maintain some of the relationships I built on this trip-through prayer, correspondence and interaction with teammates and crosscultural friends?

I find myself critical of life here. How can I use the changes in me to build bridges that will draw others into a deeper encounter with Christ and a deeper engagement with God's work in the world? How can I avoid simply being an irritant in people's lives, alienating them from me, from God and from mission?

4)  What is the impact of culture on faith? How do I see life and the gospel differently because of what I've experienced? 

I have seen radically different ways of life. What have I learned about the impact of culture on faith? What do I see in my understanding of the Christian life that has been formed more by living in America than by the gospel?

I have encountered different ways of dealing with the Bible. How do I read Scripture differently after my short-term experience? How do I discern between what is biblical and what is merely cultural in our Christian practices and understanding?

I have seen many ways in which cultures are changing. How can a culture be encouraged to change in ways that are life-giving and consistent with the gospel, rather than in ways that are destructive?

5)  What's wrong with the world? Why is there such suffering and injustice in it? 

I have encountered new forms of suffering. What have I learned about the causes of suffering? What is the role of society, the environment, the Adversary and individuals themselves? What are helpful and immediate ways to respond to people in distress? What are ways to address the structural causes of suffering?

I have seen new forms of corruption and injustice. What are effective ways to address injustice in the world? What would God seek to do through the church? To what extent are international entities (governments, corporations, etc.) responsible for injustice? What is the role of my own country?

6)  What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? What have I learned about discipleship? 

I felt closer to God there than I do here. Why? Why was it so much easier to spend time in prayer and Bible study there than it is now? Why am I so undisciplined here? 

I encountered people with great joy in circumstances that would utterly depress me. Why can people in contexts of poverty seem to live with such vibrant joy?

I encountered people with a wholehearted commitment to Christ. Why were people there willing to pay a high price for their faith, while in my own country we tend to expect a high benefit from ours? What have I learned that I want to incorporate into my own life as a disciple of Christ? 

7)  What's of value? How do I live here in light of what I've seen there?

I encountered people whose way of life was radically different from mine. What questions have been raised for me regarding our lifestyle as Westerners?

8)  Where am I going? What is God calling me to be and to do as a result of this experience?

I felt a deep sense of significance while on this trip. How can my life count for the kingdom of God? I want to make a difference in the world and not just wait for my next short-term mission trip to feel a sense of adventure and significance. If I could dream big for how God might want to work through me, what would I dream?

I encountered my gifts (and limitations) in new ways. What has God entrusted me with that I could use in God's service? How do I want to develop and enhance these gifts? Are they currently fully employed for God? Why or why not? What might God be calling me to do differently? 

I feel a deep desire and sense of responsibility to help others learn from what I've experienced. If I could summarize the impact of this trip on my life and what I think God would have people in my own country do in response to the needs of the people I met, what would I say? How can I communicate this message to others? How can I encourage others to join me in regular, crosscultural prayer? 

What steps do I want to take to explore more fully what God might want to do through me? Do I need further training? Do I need to discover what opportunities might be available? With whom do I need to discuss this?

What barriers keep me from refocusing my sense of vocation? Why is this difficult for me? How can these difficulties be surmounted?

  • Crosscultural living and communication is a learned skill. Some learn it more easily than others. Encourage people to identify their strengths and their challenges when it comes to adjusting to a context where things are different and unfamiliar.  - From location 768 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • God is the master communicator, capable of speaking to every human heart in its own context, culture and language. - From location 804 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • For many people, the hardest part of a short-term mission trip begins when they arrive back home. Preparing for return is as important as preparing for departure.  - From location 829 in the Kindle book "Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens" by Tim Dearborn 
  • We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. (2 Cor 4:10-11). - From location 58 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  • If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. (1 Cor 3:18-19).  - From location 75 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  • "leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you" (Gen 12:1).  - From location 106 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  • On a short term we put our faith on the line. The cultural props that go with a life under control are stripped from us. And it's there that we experience God most clearly. To experience God we must give up the control we crave.  - From location 127 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  • The place to start is by recognizing that you must trust God's plan and not your own. The short-term missions trip is an instrument God uses to help Christians learn to trust him in deeper and profound ways.  - From location 130 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  • All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Mt 28:18-20).  - From location 136 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  • God is in charge. He is faithful to his word. He goes with us.  - From location 151 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  • We need a missions mindset too. To exclude missions excludes us from God's heart: a heart for the nations. Without a missionary mindset we too give in to the mix of greed and religion. Without a missionary mindset the church can easily fall into a racist understanding of the world. Without a missionary mindset we miss Jesus.  - From location 186 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles