What kind of disciples does the mission demand?

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:

WCarey

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“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)

whoa!

ouch!

As I prayed and pondered over these qualities, I began to think …

  • How am I disciplining my children?http://www.christiansincommerce.org/images/missionaries-at-work.jpg
  • 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 ~

http://cccgreeley.org/files/Images/Missionaries%20Page/World.jpgwe are all missionaries

Right now

Where we are

Today

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.http://emmaustrekker.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/missionaries_logo1.jpg?w=224&h=204

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.

In Him

For Him.

Through Him.

Unto Him.

All for Him.

Blessings,

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12 thoughts on “What kind of disciples does the mission demand?

  1. Amen my friend! I did the Kairos seminaar the past weekend and it’s exactly what you said in this article. We are all children of Abraham and God said to him that He blessed Abraham and all his decendants to be a blessing to others. It’s like you said: we must be a blessing in everything we do, think and speak. And it starts at home. Have a blessed week. love y lots

  2. This post challenges me again to follow the first call that we had, when we started down the home-education journey. Our goals mirror yours – make disciples.

    The goals have not been willingly, nor even completely forgotten. But I do find it so difficult to balance (remember?) the facts that the inspector has the power to demand our girls go to school, but that only our God, who called us, is Almighty. The inspector wants to see academic progress. The Lord wants an even more profond work done, in the lives of our children and in our lives as we raise them. And He will work the impossible.

    As for being missionaries… amen! to being a missionary wherever we are, and may that be in the place we are told to go to, or in the place we are told to stay in.

    Blessings.

  3. What a beautiful post! I really enjoyed how you articulated the importance of WHY we are homeschooling and training our children with that of being a missionary. It is so vital that we don’t lose our vision amidst the piles of laundry, dishes and books.
    Thank you for all your wonderful posts, ideas, resources…..and so much more!
    May the Lord bless you for all you pour into others.
    As I sit here in Colorado, I am grateful to you, my sister in Christ in South Africa!

    Blessings!
    Malinda

    • @ Estelle, your family is that blessing you describe! Blessings!
      @ Shona, we need to look to the Lord often to see if we are still focussing on those things He wants us to.I’m encouraged that despite it seeming impossible, He only requires our faith and obedience and He does the work!
      @ Malinda, wonderful to meet you and thank you for your kind comments. Your blog is lovely! My eldest daughter will love it too!

  4. Nadene,

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I have been mulling this over myself as I work through high school with my two youngest children. My daughter (oldest and 25) is a missionary and I think the best thing she said to me is that she appreciated the example I set. I was floored because I always thought I was lacking in so many areas. She told me that it was my consistent and persistent desire to please God that influenced her the most. I think she hit the nail on the head with that and as parents the best way to grow godly children is to do our best at being godly parents and servants too. This means showing them our mistakes and then showing them how to move on. Reaching hearts is not easy but God fills in the gaps where we are imperfect…we just need to keep on going.

    • @Barb, surely there is no better testimony of your discipleship than your own adult children who affirm your guidance and who become meaningful and passionate followers of the Lord. I think we struggle to realize how much God really works through our weaknesses. Thanks for your encouraging testimony.

  5. Powerful words there, Nadene. Thank you.

    This year again the Lord affirmed to me that it is about my children IN HIM…not in school books, not getting into varsity, not excelling at sport…but for them to seek FIRST the kingdom of God…

    How humbling to realize that I can only do a certain amount of pointing them to Him…I have to live in faith believing for their salvation and for hearts turned to Him.

  6. Your words ‘My life should inspire them to answer His call’ really struck me and I so appreciate the on-going conversation via comments. To carry on in faith — in His fullness while we are so lacking in ourselves — yes, Nadene, to Him be the glory!

  7. AMEN, Amen, Amen! That first quote by Mr. Hammond is so true–true of any Christian, and especially true of a missionary in a foreign country because (I think) that we get our flesh worked on so much stronger, being out of our comfort zone.

    Thanks for the spiritual encouragement, rebuke, and instruction!

    Joy, an m-wife in Asia

  8. wow, Nadene. this is excellent. that book sounds super interesting! what a sad state our culture (and the pseudo-church) is in these days. I think you’re ABSOLUTELY right in that we are all missionaries; only varying in mission field. what inspiration! our responsibility is GREAT, God is GREATER… causes one to realize the sheer need we all have of Him particularly when it comes to teaching the little disciples in our midst… wow. Good thing it is God who ultimately is in charge of their discipleship, because I certainly don’t make for the ideal instrument! :)

    “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.”

    I love that he works in us to will AND to do…

    thanks for submitting this to the CM carnival! :)

    amy in peru

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