Friday, 31 July 2015

Why are Aussies choosing to become full time missionaries

From the Bible Society of Australia - link to their article.

Travel and short term mission key influencers for becoming a full time missionary

MISSION NEWS | Tess Holgate
Friday 31 July 2015
Three Australian scholars have published an article in international journal Missiology on the reasons why Aussie Christians are deciding to become missionaries. Three main factors were found to be most influential: interaction with missionaries, participating in short-term mission trips, and being exposed to the world and its needs.
Richard and Evelyn Hibbert and Tim Silberman interviewed 42 missionaries, exploring the broad range of factors that have been influential in their decisions to serve God long-term.
“God is still calling people, [but] I think the language has changed,” says Richard. “People are more and more talking in terms of conviction that this is the right thing to do. People in the past have had something very dramatic happen to them, they felt that God spoke to them in a certain way, and this still happens today. But today it’s more about that sense of conviction, however that comes.”
The study shows that amongst Australian missionaries, conviction to pursue long-term mission is generally a product of three main influences.
First, all participants in the study revealed that other mission-minded people (whether missionaries, pastors, family or friends) had an influence on their decision to become a missionary.
“Nearly half the interviewees first became interested in missions through a missionary who was visiting their church. Seeing, hearing and talking with a missionary seemed to make the possibility of being a missionary themselves real to them. Hearing missionaries talk inspired them to get involved in mission themselves,” the study reads.
Second, a little less than half the participants indicated that a short-term mission trip was important on their journey towards long-term missionary service. Some of these trips were taken to raise the individual’s awareness of the need, while others were more directed, attempting to answer the question of “how they would fit as a missionary in a particular part of the world, a particular kind of ministry, or a specific team”.
Third, around a quarter of respondents said that exposure to the world and its needs influenced their decision to become missionaries.
“Exposure to new people and cultures enabled interviewees to begin to empathise with people from another part of the world and perceive their need for the gospel.”
“Potential missionaries need as many opportunities as possible to connect with experienced career missionaries. Providing contexts that are positive towards missions and that foster these relational connections seems particularly conducive to the mobilisation of future career missionaries.”
In order to raise up the next generation of missionaries, Richard says we need to expose Christians to the things that God is doing around the world, and the ways in which he is showing his glory.
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Sunday, 1 February 2015

This just simply sums things up right now.

It is well with my soul

Thank you Lord!

Contentment, Discipline and Obedience

During my last trip to Kenya I spoke at a church about contentment and discipline. That day I was focusing on financial freedom in Christian but now, months later, God is teaching me a lesson about contentment and discipline, about obedience.

Two passages from the Bible come to mind about contentment.

Matthew 6:24-34 NIV
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. [25] "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? [26] Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? [27] Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? [28] "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. [29] Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. [30] If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' [32] For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. [33] But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. [34] Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Hebrews 13:4-6 NIV
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. [5] Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." [6] So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Here, in Hebrews, the Word of God speaks of contentment. Certainly we may deduce from that context that contentment, the grace of contentment, for those who are married is to be found in the way of living in their marriage in obedience to God. That is the way we experience contentment in all of our life.We must be content.

Contentment is the grace of being satisfied in the Lord's provision. Contentment is faith which understands that my life is not by chance but that it is all controlled of God and that God has purposed an eternal love to save me and to work all things for my good. Contentment is having your heart set on the kingdom of God and enjoying the peace of God in your soul. That is contentment.We have so much! Yet we are filled with discontentment. The cure for our discontentment is not a monastery, but we must look to how we live in our marriages, in this blessing.

A covetous man cannot see God's blessing. And covetous men and women are angry men and women. They cannot have what they want and they blame each other that they cannot have it and they have much strife.To experience God's blessing in a marriage we must practice contentment with what the Lord has given to us.

In the passages above there is one key to this great truth. The key that unlocks the way to true contentment.

Matthew 6:33 NIV
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

This is a lesson we must all apply daily to our lives. A discipline that I struggle with, time and time again...... "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..." if we get this right then there is a promise attached, "and all these things will be given to you as well."

True contentment only comes through obedience, obedience to God! This is true in every part of our lives. At the moment, I am learning this is especially true in marriage.

I thank God for the gift He has given me in my gorgeous wife, Linda.

Proverbs 31:10-11 NIV
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. [11] Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

Proverbs 31:26 NIV
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Proverbs 31:29-30 NIV
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." [30] Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.