No Missionary Needs To Feel Like A Failure

No missionary needs to feel like a failure, if he will simply get straight what his first goals are, and then lay out reasonable goals that are attainable goals for when he gets to the mission field.

There are two philosophies and both are true. When you arrive on the mission field it should become your new home, you no longer live in the United States of America, you have now chosen a new home. You may not fit in, you may always be strange, and you may always have an accent.

I was recently preaching in a church in the South and I heard an accent and I looked at the man and said, “You’re from Boston.” And he said that he was from Boston, but he has been living in the South over twenty years. His accent may be from Boston, and he still likes to brag about Boston, but he is in Georgia and that’s where he lives.

Your home is where you’re moving to, please get in your head that’s where you’re moving to, so when you move take your pictures, take your books with you, and move in.

When you talk about where you live, give the address of where you live. If you’re trying to live out of a suitcase and be on vacation on the mission field you will only make you, yourself, your wife, and your children miserable.

So when you land on the field do not count down the days until you go home. Instead move in and say “We are home. This is our new address. This is where we live. We no longer live in the United States.”

But at the same time I would like to challenge you to get a clock, in your head or on the wall that you can use as a countdown clock. Just like when you are playing a ballgame, when you go out into a ballgame and you’re playing; you look up at the score board and you see that there are this many minutes left in the first quarter, this many minutes in the second, third and fourth quarter. You know what quarter you’re in, you know what time it is and you play accordingly. You honestly feel pressure, you know this game is over in x amount of time.

As a missionary, you need to feel pressure, it’s a good thing. You need to feel pressure so you can get up every morning and do the job you were called to do. You were sent with a specific task, you didn’t move over there for a vacation, I know you didn’t that’s not your goal.

So let’s get our goals down, and by the way, watch the clock. When you land you have 48 months left if you’re on a four year term. You have 48 months left to accomplish what you will accomplish while you’re on the field this time.

I’d like to go over maybe the first two terms, and what ought to be your goals, as you land there.

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About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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