I’ve just finished reading The Greatest Century of Missions by Peter Hammond and I was struck by these qualities he describes in the last chapter, The Challenge of Missions:
“An effective missionary needs to be a person who diligently studies the Bible to discover God’s will and who is determined to obey it.
From this foundation of prayerful study of God’s Word needs to develop true Christian character. This cannot be hastily done. Steadfast Christian character is the product of years of prayer and Bible study and the cultivated habit of responding to God’s Word in repentance, faith and obedience.
It involves a teachable heart and a willingness to accept rebuke and discipline.“(emphasis his)
But he begins the chapter with this description which this challenge ~
“… most church goers today are secular in their mindset and lifestyle. They have few convictions, more questions than answers. They are reluctant to make long-term commitments.
Our society is existential (concerned primarily about my own personal experience now!) This throw-away, disposable culture is short-sighted, cynical and short of faith and vision for the future.
Our present generation has become selfish, sloppy, soft, spoilt and self-indulgent, unaccustomed to personal sacrifice, unwilling to endure hardship, and unlikely to exhibit loyalty to any mission, devotion to duty or courage in the face of danger.” (emphasis mine)
As I prayed and pondered over these qualities, I began to think …
- How am I disciplining my children?
- What kind of character am trusting the Lord to develop in them?
- What attitudes are they growing under my care?
- How do I urge them to develop integrity?
- What do I need to do to grow them to be willing volunteers?
- Have I encouraged them to endure, have confident faith and have hearts filled with optimism?
- Can my children submit to authority?
- Are my children willing to receive Godly rebuke and constructive criticism?
I tremble as I write this.
God’ standards are always beyond our own abilities. Impossible for any of us. None of these changes can take place without a total surrender to Him. We need to be filled with His Holy Spirit who is at work in us to will and do His purposes.
My homeschooling goals are NOT about imparting information. I must train and develop my children in good habits and strong Christian characters. I must cultivate an understanding of the Great Call to be His disciples. I must resist the desire to remove all discomforts from my children’s lives, to make things easier, to have an entertaining day. I should not parent for popularity. My life should inspire them to answer His call.
Having said all this, I feel I should state that I believe that ~
we are all missionaries
Where we are
We are all called to witness and serve.
It starts in our homes.
It begins at re-birth.
I believe that even a child can love the Lord so completely that they will desire to please Him in all they think, say and do.
Some of us are called to foreign countries.
Some may work among other people groups.
And may we love, serve and support these missionaries.
We are all challenged to be the Salt of the earth, the Light.
All for Him.