In our last newsletter I shared about our failed attempt at our online AMPD course in April. (We had all the right pieces in place, just no one signed up) I hate sharing about failure, or things that aren’t “successful” to those who pray and support us. I want you to know that your prayers and support are doing something. Part of my hesitation is out of fear. I fear you will see me and our work as ‘not good enough’ and not want to be a part of our ministry anymore. I fear when you take on this (false) thought you will stop supporting our work. This puts my dependence on you and not on God. All of these are unhealthy lies from the enemy to keep us disconnected. The sad part is, I am not the only one who goes through these vicious cycles of fear and doubt.
One of the hardest things for missionaries and churches to have is transparency in their relationships. For genuine partnerships and unity to happen, both the church and the missionary have to be completely open and honest in their ministries with each other. This means both the good and the bad. Transparency is difficult because it means we have to share the hard days, the failures, the struggles, and that makes us look weak.
Often times, we do not rally around those who are struggling, we simply want to invest in and partner with those who are succeeding, with those who have great results, those who have great numbers to show for. It is not in our nature to invest in things that look like they are not succeeding. And, it means more work on the supporting side to invest more than just money.
The question then comes to mind, what do we do with those who are serving in difficult countries, those who are serving among the unreached who take years and years to penetrate the surface with the gospel, what do we do with those who are in resistant communities? To our number and statistic driven culture, that looks like failure. So, do we not invest in them?
Missionaries often feel they cannot be open and honest because they will lose the support their churches and donors are providing them each month. They want to paint a good picture, that they are investing in a ministry that is having results. But, the truth is, we don’t invest solely in the ministry itself. But, we invest in the people doing the ministry. We invest in their well-being, in their spiritual growth, in the work God has called them to do. (discipleship)
Yes, there are many false expectations Satan has created between the church and missionary to keep us separated. There are many deceitful lies that both sides believe the other wants or expects. And, because of the lack of transparency, it’s hard for us to talk about them with the other person and be honest. It has created a very bad culture between churches and missionaries.
H2T is here to break that culture.
When partnerships are in place, the agreement isn’t just on the outcome, but on the people, on the process, and on the vision God has given. We’ve all heard the expression, it’s not a sprint, but a journey. The same is true for our partnership commitments with our missionaries and this means even when we don’t see the desired results, we still push on, together, towards the finish line.
For the missionary who shares their struggles and their failures, that is an open door for opportunity to care, to love, to encourage, to come beside in those times; maybe they need encouragement, maybe they need some pointers from experts who sit in your pews each week. (Do people still sit in pews?)
I challenge you to take a step in the Transparency direction even if you are the first to step out. Let your partners know why you are struggling, where the hurts are, why you made the wrong move and where they can help you in these areas(they might need some help knowing what to do).
If your church or your ministry would like to strengthen your partnership relationships, please contact us today. [email protected]