Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Importance of Doing Missions as Servants (by Mike Stachura)

To finish our series on short-term missions, we go to “Seven Principles for Highly Effective Short-Term Missions” by Mike Stachura of Operation Mobilization. He points us toward the importance of a Christ-like attitude as we move out to serve those in need.
Nothing is more damaging to cross-cultural missions, short-term or long-term, than a patronizing, paternalistic attitude.  Paul came determined not to present himself, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  As for Paul, he wanted to be known as Christ's bondservant. A servant's spirit starts in the home church or group with a willingness to do whatever is asked. It is reflected in the team life where all members are willing to take their share of the workload. It means esteeming others, particularly national Christian workers, as better than ourselves.
As we prepare to go and serve this summer, let’s humble ourselves and ask the Lord to change our hearts as we meditate on his sacrifice for us.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8)
May God grant you fruitful and joyful service in short-term missions!

So Operation Mobilization does have some thinkers after all. No seriously, I love OM, but I often wonder if we've forgotten that people have gone before us and have things to teach us. I really recommend Mike's seven principles. They may appear obvious, but their not. Nope not even for you. Thats right, you.

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