Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The #1 deterrent to new missionaries
"How do your mom and dad feel about your going overseas?"
"That must be hard on your parents."
I hear that kind of thing often, especially in church. I find it a little difficult to answer, since yes, I know it's hard on them to think of their daughter across the world. I'm pretty sure it's easier on them when I tell them I'm going to Zambia (probably the world's most peaceful country) than, say, Nigeria, or when I talk about possibilities in Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan. Wherever I go, they track my flights so they know in real time what longitude I'm at. But it's not as if I'm at odds with them about it. They're proud of my career choice. They wanted to be missionaries themselves when they were young--I got my heart for God's renown from them!
Last night I realized why I hear those questions about my parents' response so much. At Perspectives, it was reported that for young-adult Christians, the number one deterrent from the mission field is Christian parents.
That's sobering to me to realize just what state Christianity is in. Yes, we want to go to heaven, we'll go to church and listen to Air1 and share the "biblical values" memes on Facebook. Just don't ask us to sacrifice.
It's so sad to me that these Christian parents don't know God's heart at all, don't see that when God invites us to pray that He be gracious to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us, it is SO THAT we may be a blessing, making Him known among the earth, His salvation among all nations. As Bryan Padgett said last night, being a disciple who loves Jesus means being willing to lay down life and limb, and yes, even family, at the opportunity to make His Name glorious among the nations.