Thursday, January 1, 2009

Equipping Missionaries

Acts 20:33-35 says;
"I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that be working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Paul was a tentmaker (Acts 18:3) and, according to this passage, he didn't depend on others to provide for himself but rather, he provided both for his own needs through his own hard work and he helped others with his hard earned wages.

From this and from reading a number of biographies of missionaries, I see that it's very important for missionaries to be equipped to do more than just preach. Many missionaries equipped themselves, prior to going to the mission field, by learning about medicine, by learning construction skills, by learning about gardening/farming and anything else they thought would be useful in serving. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. The people see the missionary applying God's Word to working, which they all have to do to live, they see the missionary serving them and meeting some of their needs through some practical skill and from that learn about serving each other, not to mention that they see love in action. What a blessing we can be to others when we have a practical skill that we can use to meet a practical need while we're sharing God's love. It's where words and action meet. It just makes sense that someone should have skills beyond that of teaching God's Word (which any child of God should be able to do) as they go into ministry. Those in "the ministry" should not be the least skilled people around!!

With that in mind, it's my desire to give my children, in addition to a working knowledge of God's Word, some practical skills to equip them for serving others in practical ways.

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