Several years ago a friend registered to compete in a local marathon. She spent hours and hours training, eating correctly and working with a team to better her time. I can remember after her race, she was exhausted and sore. What I didn’t expect was the emotional and mental ‘high’ she was on from completing this feat. She couldn’t stop talking about the race and the feeling of accomplishment and immediately started looking for her next challenge, which was a triathlon. She invited me to join her in the training and competition. I laughed and walked away. Well, she didn’t stop asking me and telling me that I would love it.
I finally gave in … and she was correct. I LOVED IT. It was hard work, early hours, crazy training sessions, better eating habits. But, when I crossed the finish line, and realized I was still alive and breathing, I FELT IT! I knew exactly what my friend was talking about. THE HIGH! After I crawled to the car, put ice on everything and took a nap, I started looking up my next race. For the next 5 years, I trained and competed on repeat. (and came in second once)
I strongly believe partnership between churches and missionaries are the same. To work hand in hand with the missionary or ministry is far different than watching them do it. To get to know the people they serve changes your understanding of what they do. Your participation in the work helps you see how difficult, but amazing it is. Your personal relationship with the team helps you see the stress and emotional struggles their location or ministry brings and their need for greater support.
YDKWYDK – You don’t know what you don’t know.
Your missionaries may have invited you to come visit them, join in on a special project, connect with a specific team leader, take lead on a program or ministry… but it seemed like too much work or something you weren’t too sure about or even scared of. Can I challenge you to just TRY IT? IF THIS IS YOU, or your church, God has positioned you for ‘such a time as this’ to see Him at work in a new way you’ve never known. Start your journey in prayer, asking God to give you a vision to see His plans and His ways. Ask God to give you a burden for what he’s calling you into. Ask Him for faith to follow his invitation. Pray that your church would also catch the burden for the lost, for the hurting for the needy. Pray that your church would see their part to make disciples of all nations, both near or far. Pray that your church would be obedient to where God is leading
Take a step of faith and see what doors might open up for you. You might just enjoy it!
by Stefanie Nicholson