One of my favorite things to do is to meet with missionaries and help them take the next step in their ministry. You could say I like to coach missionaries.
Before I left Japan I had the opportunity to meet with a Mongolian couple that really wanted my help in how to take their next step.
The Gospel just came to Mongolia in these recent years so churches there are young. So are the pastors in most churches. Joe told me that most pastors in Mongolia are in their 30’s. Most missionaries from these churches are sent to pioneer new churches to other parts of Mongolia, but that’s not what God called Joe and Sara to do. He called them to into starting a music ministry in Japan.
“I get what you are saying,” Joe suddenly told me. He has worked for United Nations for many years and has led plenty of projects. “I have so many tools from my work days. I just don’t feel like I can use them…”
As we kept talking Joe reveled a deep fear of combining his ministry with the skills that he has acquired from his work in the UN. His past work had brought him pain and personal attacks so automatically he associated the skills with rejection, accusations and other bad experiences.
I have seen this tendency a lot through these consultations. Our ministry is so sacred and personal to us, we interpret it as vulnerable. God Himself has given it to us, and we don’t want to “pollute” it by mix it with the things that we associate with agony and rejection.
If I was the enemy that would be how I would keep missionaries from doing their ministry – keep them scared of using their skills they have been equipped with.
Use what God made you good at. Trust God to heal your associations.