Missions - Section 4

  1. If we are going to speak the gospel to the people of another culture, it is critical that we push through difficult emotional reactions to cultural differences and cope with our feelings in a way that continues to build relationship rather than destroy it.  - From location 818 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  2. This takes a certain amount of creativity. Redlining is the easy way out; greenlining requires working to understand rather than to discount. It requires us to learn to appreciate rather than to criticize. It requires us to move toward the culture rather than insulate ourselves from it. It requires us to again take on the humility of Christ. - From location 819 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  3. So we adopt the attitude of Christ as a servant and learner, both as we enter into a culture and again after we have been confronted with it. We continue to ask how can we build bridges for the gospel. - From location 821 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  4. Peter was willing to see people though God's eyes and not his own. Pray that God would remind you of the heart he's given you for these people and of his concern for their salvation. Pray to see them through his eyes and not from your Western eyes. - From location 823 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  5. Peter asked the prior question of trust. He was able to articulate how God had changed his heart. Be able to name your emotions. Those who redline quickest are those who are unable to name emotions. They think they have named emotions when they say, "I feel tired."- From location 825 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  6. God reassured Peter that it was okay to be unassuming. Don't assume that someone was intending to hurt you or embarrass you or frustrate you or repulse you. Extend a gracious and generous benefit of doubt. - From location 826 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  7. It required some bravery on Peter's part to travel with his hosts, then meet with them in their home. Be intentional in going forward rather than backwards. Take a deep breath and a moment to think through your reaction. Meet them on their turf. Be brave. - From location 827 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  8. Peter opened his eyes and observed. What do you notice? How are people acting? Talk with them. What do they do in certain situations? What patterns do you observe? Begin to imitate some of the things you observe. Fine-tune your observations. Start over. - From location 829 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  9. Peter asked questions. We say it again: ask lots of questions. Make sure your questions are open-ended and not condescending. Listen carefully to the answers and ask for more clarification. Seek many people's opinions, not just one host or one missionary.  - From location 830 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  10. Peter went with a team, but he did not use the team to isolate himself. Don't retreat to the comfort of your team. Setting up a little America is a constant temptation.  - From location 832 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  11. Here are three steps that need to be a part of all short-term preparation. These are things we can to do on short-term missions so that we see injustice and evil for what it is:  - From location 882 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  12. 1. Cultivate a compassionate heart. - Don't go back to sleep after a wakeup call. Develop your compassion during the short term and when you get home. Compassion keeps us awake.  Give first because God has placed compassion in your heart rather than for some effect. Sometimes in our desires to make sure we're not being ripped off or supporting something bad, we deaden compassion. God wants soft hearts more than efficient remedies; a compassionate heart gives us eyes to see and keeps us awake to the world. 
  13. 2. Develop an understanding of what the Bible says about injustice. - Develop an Understanding of What the Bible Says About Injustice "Make no mistake: nothing challenges one's faith and hope in God like the rank evil of naked injustice. And nothing short of the authoritative, divine Word of God will withstand its withering scorn."'  What's the good news about injustice?  God hates it, says Haugen. To know the Scriptures is to know that God is compassionate (Ps 145:9) and a just judge (1 Sam 2:9-10) who seeks rescue for victims (Is 59:14-16).
  14. 3. Be willing to take action. - Take Action God wants his people involved in the solution. That will prove difficult if we lack compassion and a biblical understanding of injustice, but impossible if we are unwilling to take action. Keep eyes and ears open; don't ignore the issues on short-term programs.
  15. What can one small short term do? Quite a bit. That's because of who our God is and what he does. Remember the Lord.  - From location 934 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  16. To go on a short-term mission without being prepared to share our faith is like inviting people to a banquet while forgetting to serve the food.  - From location 957 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  17. It's clear that Peter understood the point of cultural sensitivity is not to appear culturally sophisticated or simply to avoid offense; it is to communicate the gospel. Like him, we need to be prepared to testify to our faith thoughtfully in light of cultural differences and yet with bold confidence. Here are some ways to get started. Be bold where you are. The greatest tool in sharing your faith across a culture is to know your own faith. Know the major tenets of what Christians believe. Be able to explain your story of faith. Know how to help people cross the line into faith. Don't make the common mistake that somehow it will be easier to share your faith there than it is here. Make efforts to share your faith at home. Start praying and looking for opportunities to share your faith. If you begin to develop an evangelistic lifestyle here, it will seem much less foreign in a foreign land.  - From location 975 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  18. Pray boldly. Pray for boldness. Just like Paul: Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Eph 6:19-20). - From location 980 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  19. Tell people that you don't want to offend. Being bold is not a license to offend those to whom we go. Be bold in telling people you don't want to offend.  - From location 987 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  20. "And I don't want to do something here that would offend either Buddhists or my own beliefs in Jesus." - From location 993 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  21. Let people know you don't want to offend and you'll find tremendous open doors in unexpected places. - From location 994 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  22. Be in partnership with those who are committed to sharing the gospel. We'll mention this again, but it bears repeating. Ask how the people you partner with in the host country are sharing their faith. Learn from them. Ask them what they would want people to know about evangelism in the place where they live. - From location 995 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  23. Make sure plans for evangelism are in concert with your missionary and hosts. And know that sometimes the best evangelism is to support local evangelists.  - From location 997 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  24. Do your homework on issues of faith in the local setting. Understand the basic tenets of the host's faith. What parallels do they share with Christianity? - From location 998 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  25. Third, know the major objections they may have about Christianity. Muslims, for example, are deeply offended by the idea that Jesus was the Son of God, thinking Christians believe God had sex with a human. - From location 1000 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  26. Learn the difference between gospel and culture. Too many Americans are unable to make distinctions between what is American and what is gospel. From worship, to the type of clothes someone wears, to the number of wives in a household, we tend to spread our cultural expectations with a veneer of biblical proof texting. The best way to come to grips with this is to leave our culture. But an equally important dynamic is to have a firm grasp of what the Bible says and does not say. - From location 1001 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  27. Expect the unexpected.   - From location 1009 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  28. Be bold when you sense the Spirit opening doors. Opportunities to share the gospel come in all sizes. - From location 1014 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  29. Or you may have the chance to talk about how faith in Jesus has made a difference in your life. Take advantage of each of these openings and wait to see how the Lord will use them.  - From location 1016 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  30. Be Ready: Sometimes You Will See Great Harvests.  - From location 1017 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  31. The Holy Spirit is like the wind; we don't know where he comes from or where he's going, but sometimes you'll be swept up in his power.  - From location 1025 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  32. As a short termer, you need to be responsive to your sending church as well. You should be a committed member and involved in the local missions of the church.  - From location 1044 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  33. Send updates and prayer requests as often as possible while on the missions trip. And on your return, be prepared to give a full report to your church so that they are encouraged by all God has done. - From location 1046 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  34. "The struggle on any short-term mission is against the glorified vacation-a sightseeing mentality that produces a relationless trip.  - From location 1052 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  35. Powerful partnerships still happen today; churches form, lifelong friendships do too. And it can happen all in the short weeks of a short-term program. We long for those who go with us on short term missions to write letters to the people they were with, like Paul's letters.  - From location 1064 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  36. "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  - From location 1083 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  37. Here are some tips about forming partnerships with missionaries. Be helpful. Be considerate and helpful. Expect to work hard without complaining. Ask them before you arrive about what you can bring to help them. Take them items they can't get. (We limit our participants to one piece of baggage so that we can use the carry on and other bag to take stuff for the mission. - From location 1093 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  38. Learn all you can from them. Interview missionaries about missions. Ask them how their expectations were different from the realities. Ask the best way to prepare. Don't update them on the latest missiological trends or correct them on the proper ways of contextualized evangelism, but find out the history of the missions work in the area and their plans for the future.  - From location 1097 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  39. Missionaries have stepped out of our culture and can often see us more through eyes of the national, so ask, "What can we do to change?" They see things we can't.  - From location 1099 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  40. Participate in ongoing projects. Come alongside the work missionaries are doing rather than making a special project just for your short term.  - From location 1100 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  41. See if you can have partnerships with a number of different missionaries.   - From location 1104 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  42. Watch your expectations of what a missionary should do. Few people think of missionaries as people with pith helmets and machetes nowadays, but stereotypes still exist. No matter what a missionary does, understand that the best missionaries aren't good because of their job, they're good because of their attitude toward the culture in which they live. - From location 1104 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  43. Good missionaries use public transportation at times (especially if that is the kind of transportation most of the people they work with use). They speak the language; they eat the food. They have friendships and respect for the nationals they work with. Look for these kinds of missionaries as models of cultural sensitivity. Be gracious though; remember that missionaries are on a journey too.  - From location 1110 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  44. Be respectful of their long-term investments in a locale. Missionaries have a lot at stake with you being there. You get to leave; they can't. Sometimes their reputation or even their ability to stay is at stake. It is mportant that we as short termers be extremely respectful of this.  - From location 1112 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  45. Remember that bad missionaries are the exception. The vast majority of missionaries are self-sacrificing, hard-working, godly people.  - From location 1125 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  46. Missionaries need to understand short terms just like anyone the. Many have not had the time to think through a thoughtful biblical view of short terms and see them in much the same way as some in the Christian community.  - From location 1128 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  47. Good short terms stand on three legs: partnerships with a sending church, partnerships with hosts and partnerships with missionaries. All three need to be strong and in good balance for your trip to reach its fullest potential. But even with all these in place, there is a certain amount of risk inherent in all short terms-risks known and unknown.  - From location 1132 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  48. We wish Jesus called us to live in personal peace and security. We wish we could proclaim his message over the Internet or the TV But that's not how he came; it's not what he did. He lived with people who risked their lives in an unsafe world.  - From location 1150 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  49. We don't always know what it is we're risking. Life itself is risky. Leaving home might even be risky.  - From location 1157 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  50. Sometimes we risk because of spiritual realities others just can't see. This is the hardest risk to take. We do it because we believe that Jesus is more "real" than the "real world." - From location 1165 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  51. I don't like risk But we risk because it's worth it. We risk because Jesus rewards risk.  - From location 1194 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  52. Missions trips are inherently dangerous. We don't want people to risk foolishly, yet we don't want to spend our whole time on short terms worrying about safety either.  - From location 1203 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  53. Risk - In one sense it is impossible to manage risk. We can't cover all the things that can go wrong. But we have seven things that must be kept in mind about risk.  - From location 1219 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  54. 1. Remember that Jesus rewards risk. Long before accountants noticed the market rewards risk, Jesus promised to reward those who risk for him (Mt 6:25-33). 
  55. 2. Remember that there are no guarantees. Life is a risk. But take some simple precautions. Use safe airlines. Be in partnership with local people who can advise you on safety issues. Make sure all participants have good insurance. 
  56. 3. All of life involves risk, but we don't look for risk either. Thrill seeking is not a part of missions. There are plenty of thrills on a missions trip without manufacturing them. 
  57. 4. When you do need to risk, risk on things that are worth it. Sometimes that means spiritual realities the world simply cannot see; sometimes it means doing things that will build trust. Sometimes we eat risky food to build trust, for instance. 
  58. 5. Manage risk by training yourself to do three things: be alert, be knowledgeable and be wise. Watch what is going on around you. What are the implications? Think through the things you can do to reduce risk at no expense to cultural sensitivity. Again, have  can guide you-remember that in crosscultural situations you are as lambs among wolves. Have clear, wise rules for participants: in before dark; walk in groups; limit luggage, personal articles and spending money; don't flash your wealth; take cheap cameras-or do something really radical: leave your camera at home. 
  59. 6. When something bad happens-and something bad will happen-be calm and compliant. Remember that there are no guarantees in life. That's true for a trip across the globe or down the street to the grocery store. When things do go wrong, give yourself a break. There's no sense heaping guilt on top of mistakes. Know that God is honored by your risk for him. 
  60. 7. Don't make the focus of your trip eliminating or managing risk What a boring trip. Don't make it the focus when you return either. We've endured too many short-term reports that focused entirely on how bad or dangerous or disgusting things were with no hint of God's work. We call them the 'biggest bug" stories. No wonder so many short termers go and are surprised God was there before they were. 
  61. Both directors and families should expect some unforeseen events to occur during the trip and be gracious and flexible in dealing with them. - From location 1266 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  62. God says love those who curse you and pray for those who hate you.   - From location 1281 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  63. Cor. 2:1-5 - And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  
  64. Qualifications for Evangelism:  - From The Evidence Bible by Ray Comfort.
    1. 1. A witness need not have excellency of speech or of wisdom. He should simply declarewhat he has seen and heard.
    2. 2. He must not get sidetracked with unnecessary details, but focus on the essentials of Christ's death on the cross.
    3. 3. He must have weakness (not trusting in his own strength or ability).
    4. 4. He must have fear (in Greek, phobos, that which is caused by being scared).
    5. 5. He must have much trembling (awareness of his insufficiency).
    6. Do you meet these qualifications?