Mission and Ministry
Hearing is one problem with ministry and mission. I am in the car a great deal. I usually refer to it as the mobile office. Earlier this week I was driving to an appointment. Christian radio was playing. My thoughts were on the many things that need to get done and all that is necessary to accomplish them. What was I missing? And was I encountering an new problem or one that is quite old? You may be surprised!
Ministry of Listening
A great preacher was giving a sermon. I was aware, but not listening. Another show came on. Again, I was aware but not really engaged. I’ve just returned from the third of five mission efforts in four months. Last week’s mission to La Romana was a great blessing in many ways. But the need to look forward is always present. I’ve been trying to communicate to anyone/everyone the importance of it all. In the car, I realized I was a demonstration of the problem. I was hearing but not listening. Listening is a vital mission tool, for all of us!
If a tree falls…
You know the old question: If no one was there to hear it did it make any noise? Insightful teaching was coming through my radio. Requests to help worthwhile ministries were included. As I woke up to what was happening, I began to wonder what does it take in today’s world to get one’s message through? Maybe there are wizards-of-smart who can answer that. I only know one answer, and it may be the only good answer. And this problem wasn’t created by the information age. God had to include this instruction in Scripture:
He that has a ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Telegraph and Prayer
Our current deluge of electronic communications began with the telegraph. Like other English words, it didn’t take long for the noun to become a verb. The word telegraph came to describe what one did or didn’t want another person to know ahead of time. I’ve heard coaches (various sports) instruct their players not to telegraph to the other team what is coming next.
No, I’m not suggesting we use the telegraph. The only reliable answer to getting our message out is prayer for open hearts and ears. I am praying as I type that this will touch open ears and hearts. But this post is also telegraphing those who know me and are associated with this mission ministry. Something is coming! Tomorrow (Friday) you will receive an email. That’s unusual because I don’t send many direct, personal messages. I know you are already on overload. So please check your email tomorrow and see what lies before us. You can pray and telegraph me back! Check it out.