Our friend keeps on moving to a new place and she got tired of moving her things around so she put all her books and book shelfs in our house. Of course, I don't mind it at all. But everyday I would browse the shelfs and look for something to read.
I found a photocopy bound compilations of missionary articles. I believe it is a good idea to share some articles here that I think would be very useful to missionaries and theologians.
This article is entitled "Pitfalls Facing Missionaries and Christian Workers" written by Dr. Ken Seino. In his article he presents several pitfalls that missionaries tend to fall. I give my comments in each.
Pitfalls of Pride
He says that missionaries are famous because it is being announced in the denomination or by deputation. They become famous because they are being prayed for by many people in many churches. In my opinion, this is only true if you are a missionary who comes from a big denominations with big churches. He warns that the missionary should not be proud because they are not famous because of their personality but for the kind of job they are doing.
He claims that sometimes the missionaries are given opportunity to serve in large meetings and conventions or interviewed by Christian newspapers. He says, that in certain cases, missionaries are "stars" among fine Christians. And this would cause the missionary to be haughty and arrogant. I could only hope that what he says is always true.
Pitfalls of Hypocrisy
Missionaries have the opportunity to work with wonderful leaders and thus they may belong to a ministry that are able to lead a great numbers of soul to the Lord and construct new church buildings. However, sometimes this accomplishment eclipse one of the most important goals of missions and that is for the believers to experience spiritual growth and that includes the missionaries own growth. Numbers do not necessarily means success.
Pitfall of Martyrdom
Missionaries tend to project themselves as living in a very difficult situation. They present themselves as miserable people who missed everything in their home country. The are tempted to create a story that tells the people back home that they are facing bigger hardships than ordinary Christians. Of course, all of these are true but missionaries have also blessings that ordinary Christians
Pitfalls of Money
The temptation of money is common to missionary. The missionary should be accountable and make a record of incoming and outgoing expenses. Missionaries should be a good steward of the Lord's money. This is most true if a missionary is being supported through a mission organization. Nonetheless, independent missionary should keep everything in orderly record. The ever present of spending the money to something not needed should be avoided.
Pitfalls of Dishonesty
Missionary should never lie for profit. Many missionaries fall into the trap of getting support from different missions organizations and keeping it a secret to them. Missionaries should be transparent. Just be honest about the sources of your support to the people or other missions group that want to help you and your ministry. Simple honesty will go a long way.
The over-simplification or slight exaggeration should be avoided at all times. An intentional misinformation may make for a good challenging story that may motivate people to support missionary works but it is still dishonest and the Lord of the harvest will not be pleased.