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Missionaries or Mercenaries?

Missionaries or Mercenaries?

This article was originally posted April 2014 and is being re-posted to a new set of readers–Editor Deputation is a word that strikes fear into the heart of many people looking at the missionary enterprise. Some have said, “I wouldn’t go around to churches and people begging for money.” Others look at missionaries as people…

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Are You Willing?

Are You Willing?

“Do you know why I am a Christian?” I asked the church’s next-door neighbor as I gnawed on a roasted ear of corn during a barbecue just in front of the church. From where we talked, we could see the lights of a thousand skyscraper windows, blinking down on us in the twilight. “Your society…

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We Want to Stop Recruiting!

We Want to Stop Recruiting!

Most mission agencies have a recruiting department and aggressively seek to find new missionaries to join them. Historically, they have sent representatives to Bible Colleges and Seminaries to enlist those who may be heading to the mission field. Agencies are highly motivated because we regularly see the needs and opportunities around the world. Missionaries desperately…

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God of All gods

God of All gods

She looked up at me with bright, innocent eyes. “That is our god,” she told me as we both looked at the picture of the man in an orange jumpsuit. We were at the home of non-Christian friends for a birthday party. This sweet little girl was a classmate of my seven year old daughter….

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The Character of a Missionary: Childlikeness

The Character of a Missionary: Childlikeness

What does it take to be a missionary? Books have been written, sermons have been preached, and evaluation tools have been created. All are oriented towards assessing a new missionary’s capacity to meet a minimum level of proficiency to do the work of one who is sent by God. Missing from those prerequisites is a…

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Why Missions?

Why Missions?

The fires in California last fall were the worst in it’s history. CNN reported approximately 8,000 firefighters deployed, 6,000 homes destroyed and 113,000 acres burned. Forty-four souls perished. Can you imagine if the authorities deployed 80% of the firefighters to an area with 20% of the fires, and the other 20% to an area with…

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Missionaries Don’t Need Your Money

Missionaries Don’t Need Your Money

There is a fascinating phrase in 1 Corinthians 9:9 where Paul asks the question: “Is it for oxen that God is concerned?” He is talking about giving and uses oxen an illustration in which they can rightfully be fed by the very wheat they are thrashing. But he makes the surprising application that giving is…

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One Seed at a Time

One Seed at a Time

A few weeks ago, Kathy and I were grabbing a cup of coffee at the local supermarket. A retired couple were seated at a table near us. They nodded hello and we recognized the faces but did not know their names. When they rose to leave a half hour later, we struck up a conversation…

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Self-Evaluation

Self-Evaluation

Self-evaluation is critical in the Christian life, and it is also good to periodically stop and take a snap-shot of how things are going in our church. One of the areas that deserves evaluation is how your church is doing in international ministries or mission outreach.   The key to self-evaluation is to address the…

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An Insurmountable Challenge

An Insurmountable Challenge

A large city, with no professing believers, and a community who doesn’t trust outsiders sounds like an insurmountable challenge. For our missionary team, this is the reality they live in every day. When the need for God’s gospel is immense and the people are segregated, how can a missionary engage the culture? By using their…

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