Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Amateurisation of Missions

2,925 views

Published on

The Amateurisation of Missions

  • Be the first to comment

The Amateurisation of Missions

  1. 1. By Dr. Peter Hammond
  2. 2. How Firm a Foundation
  3. 3. How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your Faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
  4. 4. Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
  5. 5. When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply. The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
  6. 6. The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose, I will not, I will not desert to its foes. That soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
  7. 7. By Dr. Peter Hammond
  8. 8. Superficial Despite the hard realities and desperate needs of the mission fields, we are increasingly seeing the amateurisation of missions.
  9. 9. More and more Christians are pouring into the mission fields - but for very short periods of time and for very superficial goals.
  10. 10. Religious Tourists I have been astounded to come across large tour groups (calling themselves "missionaries") travelling across the world just to spend four or five days "in the field!“ The high costs of international air travel would seem to make such short visits cost-ineffective.
  11. 11. Even more incredible is how most of these short termers have undergone no selection procedure, received no training and are ill-equipped to benefit the local believers.
  12. 12. In most cases these religious tourists have a lower grasp of Scripture and a spiritual maturity that is dwarfed by the local believers to whom they presume to come to minister.
  13. 13. Most people understand that doctors and engineers, in fact every other profession, need proper training to be able to do their work.
  14. 14. Yet for some obscure reason many Christians seem to think that any churchgoer can be a missionary!
  15. 15. The flood of untrained, ill disciplined and unaccountable lone ranger supposed "missionaries" into Third World countries is disastrous.
  16. 16. Many do not even know enough of the local culture, to realise how much damage they are doing to the Christian cause.
  17. 17. Cross Cultural Challenges I have seen many female missionaries in trousers, or even shorts, ministering in rural Africa. They seem oblivious to the fact that all the local Christian women only wear dresses.
  18. 18. Nor could they possibly realise how offensive their dress (or lack of it) is to their hosts. Once a team of 6 American medical missionaries flew out to work with us in Mozambique.
  19. 19. As they arrived in Malawi, the women were detained by Police for wearing trousers! They did not even have a single skirt between them in their luggage.
  20. 20. We had to rush into town to buy some dresses for the ladies before the police would release them!
  21. 21. African cultures value politeness and hospitality highly. So unless you probe and ask lots of penetrating questions you will never know that you have offended your hosts.
  22. 22. They will continue to smile and be friendly even as the door slams firmly shut to further ministry.
  23. 23. For example, in Africa, it is generally considered a disgrace for a man to have long hair.
  24. 24. This is not only cultural, but Biblical: "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonour to him." 1 Corinthians 11:14.
  25. 25. Yet you will see many long haired and pony-tailed men heading out "to evangelise the pagans in Africa" oblivious to what a "stumbling block" they are.
  26. 26. The present fad of body piercing seems to have invaded the church as well. I have met Christians heading out to the mission field with nose rings, belly rings, tongue studs and who-knows-what other body mutilations.
  27. 27. It is not that these piercings are unknown in Africa or Asia. In fact every pagan culture practises it. The Hindus and animists in particular practise body piercings and tattoos extensively. However, once converted, they repent and turn away from such abominations.
  28. 28. Tattoos and Body Piercing It is generally quite easy to tell the difference between a Christian and a pagan in Africa: by how they dress and by how they treat (or mistreat) their body.
  29. 29. The Scriptures are clear: "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh… nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord" Leviticus 19:28.
  30. 30. Earrings on men in the Bible were a mark of slavery (Exodus 21:6; Deut 15:17). Cutting of ones own flesh was seen as an act of worship to demon idols by the pagans (1 Kings 18:28).
  31. 31. For a Christian who recognises that his body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthian 3:16-17) to defile himself with the pagan practise of body piercing is not only tragic but blatant rebellion against God.
  32. 32. How then can you expect African Christians to respect long haired men with pony tails and earrings - who presumed to come and teach them?
  33. 33. Often the Message we bring is undermined by our appearance or actions.
  34. 34. One "mission team" that came to assist some good friends of ours started arguing with the established missionaries over divisive doctrines, then they asserted "a woman’s right" to have an abortion!
  35. 35. Finally, they complained about being given physical work. "We came here to minister" protested the pony-tailed team leader. "Physical work is part of our ministry," answered the Mission leader.
  36. 36. Before the whole congregation the young team leader stood up on Sunday morning and protested the way his team of volunteers had been forced to help with the building extension of the mission station.
  37. 37. "We came here to preach the Gospel, not to lay bricks. Look at my hands," he pleaded. "My hands are like that of a little girl. God did not make my hands to handle bricks!"
  38. 38. The incredible thing is that every year thousands of such undisciplined and unteachable, selfish individuals jet into mission fields around the world… to help!
  39. 39. I first came across the term religious tourists in Romania. A pastor was relating to me the bizarre story of 89 Californian Christians who had flown in to "minister" in Romania!
  40. 40. Naturally, none of them spoke Romanian. Neither did they have transport. They were totally dependent upon their local hosts, whom they presumed they were coming to help.
  41. 41. On Sunday morning they all wanted to speak at the main service. Each was given two minutes to bring greetings!
  42. 42. So began a seemingly never-ending procession of 89 religious tourists delivering their greetings through an interpreter - with successive camera flashes accompanying!
  43. 43. These visitors never seemed to consider just how much their large tour group had imposed upon their Romanian hosts for transport, accommodation, food and interpreters.
  44. 44. "We never saw these people in the dark days of persecution." declared one pastor. "They are not missionaries – they are religious tourists!"
  45. 45. Relief Aid Visits There have been groups of up to 29 Americans and Europeans flying in, on a single aircraft, to one location in Sudan.
  46. 46. When I asked how long they were going in for they proudly announced "two or three days - maybe even four!".
  47. 47. I could only stand in amazement at their superficial understanding of what is needed in Missions. "What do you plan to accomplish?" I asked. "Oh!" the man answered, "We plan to hand over some relief aid and buy some slaves!"
  48. 48. "We plan to hand over some relief aid and buy some slaves!"
  49. 49. So is this now what missions are coming to: large groups of people flying half way across the world to hand over some relief aid, say a few nice words and set some slaves free!
  50. 50. In just a few days they fly back home thinking that they are now missionaries!
  51. 51. They have no real grasp of the people to whom they are going, they have no understanding of the religious worldview of the people they are evangelising and they have never bothered to study the history of the nation they say they are sent to.
  52. 52. Untrained, unprepared, unaccountable, and even unaware of the way the local people perceive them.
  53. 53. Do they know what the correct price and exchange rates are? Once they set the slaves free how can they be sure that they will not be re-enslaved again?
  54. 54. Without knowing the local language or staying there long enough to know what is really going on, how can they be sure that those people sitting under the tree really are slaves?
  55. 55. Would they even know if they were being deceived in an elaborate plot to enrich certain slave traders?
  56. 56. Those who only fly in for the day cannot be certain of the answers to any of these questions. The mission fields are too complex for amateurs.
  57. 57. Of course a mission worker's training should not stop when they reach the field - in fact it must never stop. It takes an average of 2 years or more for a trainee field worker in Frontline Fellowship to qualify as a Field Worker.
  58. 58. This training will include many courses such as: the Great Commission Course, Discipleship Training Course, Biblical Worldview Seminar,
  59. 59. Muslim Evangelism Workshop, Evangelism Explosion III, First Aid courses, and participation in many outreaches including street evangelism, Muslim evangelism and Bible smuggling into restricted access countries.
  60. 60. There are required reading lists, written assignments and practical tests. All of these are important components of a comprehensive programme to prepare effective missionaries for ministry in war torn, Muslim or Communist countries.
  61. 61. Frontline's selection and training procedure is fairly unique in its blend of intensive Biblical instruction and practical outreach within an apprenticeship programme.
  62. 62. Those who are easily upset by irritations, loss of sleep or unfair treatment and those who are moody and easily discouraged and depressed are not suitable for Missions.
  63. 63. Missionaries must be emotionally stable, and self-disciplined.
  64. 64. Interpersonal Relationships In the Mission field, relationship difficulties are often aggravated by high levels of stress, heat and cross-cultural frustration.
  65. 65. The closeness of living, travelling and working conditions Intensifies interpersonal conflicts.
  66. 66. Missionaries tend to be strong-willed people, so potential clashes can undermine the mission team and projects.
  67. 67. Interdependent Team Players There are two major problems here: dependant people who need constant support and direction and sap the energy from a team; and independent people who divert the team's energy as they pull one way and another to pursue their own agendas.
  68. 68. Missionaries need to be inter-dependant (team players) relinquishing their own interests for the good of the team: self-starters, self-reliant and self-sacrificing.
  69. 69. Physical Health and Fitness The harsh terrains, hot climates and primitive conditions of most Mission fields require healthy and fit missionaries who can endure and be effective in adverse conditions, who can cope with and recover from debilitating sicknesses.
  70. 70. It is amazing how many people volunteer for Missions who have never done any ministry at home!
  71. 71. It is essential for all Missionaries to have extensive ministry experience at the home front before venturing into cross-cultural missions overseas. If it does not work at home - do not export it.
  72. 72. Perseverance Obstacles abound. Frustrations, disappointments and discouragements are occupational hazards and part of our job description.
  73. 73. Missionaries need endurance - a willingness and capacity to suffer hardships, discomfort, opposition and worse.
  74. 74. Sacrificial service is more eloquent than many sermons.
  75. 75. Frontline Fellowship pioneered missionary work in war-torn Mozambique.
  76. 76. and Angola in the 1980s
  77. 77. and in Islamic Sudan since 1995.
  78. 78. Frontline Fellowship smuggled over 500,000 Bibles and Christian books in 26 languages into Sudan,
  79. 79. and has trained many thousands of pastors, teachers, chaplains and medics in restricted access areas.
  80. 80. The Great Commission Course has been designed by Frontline Fellowship as a uniquely practical missionary training programme
  81. 81. The first part of the GCC is held at a campsite in a forest, on a mountain, by a lake in a nature reserve.
  82. 82. for all those who desire to be more innovative and effective in cross-cultural Evangelism and Discipleship.
  83. 83. Insights If you want to see behind the scenes, what is actually involved in cross-cultural missionary work, particularly in areas where Christians are persecuted for their Faith, then the GCC is for you.
  84. 84. The Great Commission Course in (1 – 20 January 2016) begins with the Great Commission Camp (1 - 6 January 2016).
  85. 85. It will then be followed up by an intensive training course with daily outreaches and practicals, hands-on ministry in townships, prisons, etc.
  86. 86. Do You Want to Change Your World? If so, then join us for the inspiring and life-changing Great Commission Course.
  87. 87. The Great Commission Camp will provide an ideal introduction to the course with the theme of Reclaiming Africa for Christ.
  88. 88. You Are What You Read! Dr. Peter Hammond
  89. 89. You Are What You Read! Dr. Peter Hammond
  90. 90. Some years ago, George and Alec Gallup undertook an exhaustive investigation as to what makes some people more successful than others.
  91. 91. Using the polling techniques that have made them famous, the brothers researched and wrote a book titled, "The Great American Success Story". One of their conclusions: Successful people read.
  92. 92. George Gallup found that reading was essential because it "makes a person ready to converse…these
  93. 93. people have a broad knowledge…and more information with which to make evaluations and decisions."
  94. 94. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Books are minds alive on the shelves.
  95. 95. By taking up one of these books, and opening it, we can hear the voices of people far away in time and space.
  96. 96. By reading we can hear great people of long ago speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.
  97. 97. If it was announced that Martin Luther, was speaking at a particular church,
  98. 98. If it was announced that John Calvin was speaking at a particular church,
  99. 99. If it was announced that Charles Spurgeon was speaking at a particular church,
  100. 100. If it was announced that David Livingstone was speaking at a particular church,
  101. 101. Christians from all over the world would show up.
  102. 102. But we need to remember that when we open up a book by one of those authors, we can hear them speak
  103. 103. and learn from them in a greater way than you could if you just heard them at a single meeting.
  104. 104. A man is known by the company he keeps. It is also true that a person's character is to a large extent developed by the books he reads.
  105. 105. A man is known by the company his mind keeps. A book is good company.
  106. 106. "The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries." Descartes.
  107. 107. "In books lies the soul of the whole past time." Thomas Carlyle.
  108. 108. Mark Twain observed: "The man who does not read good books, has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."
  109. 109. Abraham Lincoln commented: "The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who will get me a book I have not read."
  110. 110. Walt Disney said: "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island…and best of all you can enjoy these riches every day of your life."
  111. 111. "In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot, or will not, read
  112. 112. …it is not true we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish." S.I. Hayakawa
  113. 113. "If we encounter a man of rare intellect we should ask him what books he reads." Ralph Waldo Emerson
  114. 114. Charles Spurgeon counselled his students: "Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and re-read them…digest them…
  115. 115. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by 20 books he has merely skimmed."
  116. 116. Daniel Webster recommended that it is better to master a few books than to read indiscriminately. It was his contention that to master a few great writers is preferable to skimming a multitude of lesser works.
  117. 117. C.S. Lewis recommended: "If one must read only the new or only the old, I would advise them to read the old.
  118. 118. It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow one self another new one until you have read an old one in between."
  119. 119. Inferior books are to be rejected in an age and time when we are courted by whole libraries.
  120. 120. No man's life is long enough to read even those which are good and great and famous.
  121. 121. Why then should one waste ones time with lesser works when some of the greatest are available?
  122. 122. Francis Bacon wrote: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
  123. 123. "Read the best books first, or you may not have the chance to read them at all." Henry David Thoreau
  124. 124. "Many times the reading of a book has made the future of a man.“ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  125. 125. "Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for." Socrates.
  126. 126. "Next to the Holy Scriptures, the greatest aide to the life of faith may be Christian biographies." A.W. Tozer.
  127. 127. "The reading of good biography forms an important part of a Christian's education. It provides him with numberless illustrations for use in his own service.
  128. 128. He learns to assess the true worth of character, to glimpse a work goal for his own life,
  129. 129. to decide how best to attain it, what self denial is needed to curb unworthy aspirations,
  130. 130. and all the time he learns how God breaks into the dedicated life to bring about His own purposes." Ransome W. Cooper
  131. 131. "Biography transmits personality…
  132. 132. who can gauge the inspiration to the cause of missions of great biographies like those of William Carey,
  133. 133. Adoniram Judson,
  134. 134. Hudson Taylor,
  135. 135. Charles Studd…
  136. 136. "History is but the lengthy shadow of great men." Emerson.
  137. 137. Those that love reading have everything within their reach.
  138. 138. For a small price one can visit other lands and great periods of history,
  139. 139. learn from some of the greatest minds and world shapers,
  140. 140. grapple with great issues,
  141. 141. learn in a space of a few hours what others grappled with, researched and studied for their whole lives.
  142. 142. This presentation is taken from a chapter in the Discipleship Handbook
  143. 143. Frontline Fellowship PO Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa E-mail: admin@frontline.org.za Web: www.frontline.org.za

×