Adults on Mission Blog

An Unexpected Platform

Microphone on stage

Recently, while walking through a subway station, I was approached by a stranger. I assumed he was a lost tourist, but he was a photographer taking photos of New Yorkers for a blog. I quickly realized he writes for a very popular photo blog that has millions of followers. He asked if he could take my photo and share my story. I’d never thought much about what I would say if approached by this guy (as I’m a big fan of his work), but here I was standing there with a great opportunity to share my story.

I said yes, and his first question was something along the lines of “What are you most passionate about?” So I started talking about Christ, the gospel, and church planting. I stammered through several things and really don’t remember all of what I said. I honestly didn’t say anything profound; I just rambled on about my life and the things I do.

Serve Others

Missionaries are some of the most selfless people in the world. Many leave their comfort zone, their homes, and families to serve God and others. Missionaries give selflessly of themselves.

Their happiness is truly lasting. A selfless person will attract takers and sometimes will be unappreciated. Boundaries must clearly be set. The world may seek the advice of a selfless person and then ignore it. In order to be selfless, whole-hearted and genuine, we must take care of ourselves first in order to give our best self to others.

However, being selfless does not have to mean being a doormat. Stand on the Word of God. The Christian life is not about self-promotion; it is about self-denial.

God didn’t add another day in our life because we needed it, He added it because someone out there needs us.        

 

 

Minister

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

There are many ways to be a selfless servant in our communities and around the world. People are hurting and are in need of a loving Savior. Disaster relief is a good way to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we approach the season of storms, tornadoes and hurricanes. Perhaps your church could serve as a shelter or feeding center.

Hunger is another prevalent problem in our society. Try keeping food packets (granola bars, beef jerky, etc.) in the glove compartment of your car to give to someone in need. Provide a meal to school teachers during teacher preparation week. Provide a meal and/or hold a special service to recognize local fire, police and EMT personnel.

The challenge is to develop a strategic plan to spread the Gospel while we are ministering in our communities.

**Photo credit: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com  

 

Surrender

The first step to selflessness is to surrender your life to Jesus and become one of His disciples. Selflessness requires the stopping, quitting, halting of anything and everything that might impede our fellowship with God.

We must seek to follow the will of God and refuse to do our own will. Selflessness requires rejecting desires of the flesh and leading a holy path. We receive the greatness of God first then we are made aware of our nothingness.

Christian belief of selflessness comes from Jesus not only implying it through words but from action. Just as He sacrificed Himself, we should sacrifice our life for Him. We must renounce ungodly and worldly passions that come from our own desires. Jesus demands in our heavenly hope, for behold, our reward is great in heaven.

When we realize God’s purpose for our lives isn’t just about us, He will use us in a mighty way.

 

 

Full of Ourselves

As humans, it is our very nature to be selfish. We want everything done our way and on our time schedule.

We become wrapped up in “my world” that we don’t think of others. Our schedules are busy running hither and yon, we don’t have time to be bothered or inconvenienced. The world teaches to do whatever feels good, no matter who it hurts.

Pride keeps us from becoming a humble servant. We pursue everlasting joy in earthly things. We tend to place our hope in the things of this world. We were born with a sinful, selfish nature.

We are constantly searching for worldly pleasures. We are obsessed with getting more and having more than our neighbor. We are so busy “keeping up with the Joneses,” that we leave God out. God can’t fill us when we are already full of ourselves.

 

LaNita Mitchell lives and serves in Princeton, KY. She has a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

Unsung

Perhaps no other group of people are more familiar with persevering in a demanding, often mundane, and emotionally painful world than the community of caregivers.

  • Peter Rosenberger has logged over 30 years of caring for his wife, Gracie, a double amputee.
  • I have a Facebook friend who is over 10 years post-stroke, meeting the multiple daily needs of her husband.
  • My sons had a teacher whose retirement package included five years of round-the-clock care following her husband’s brain hemorrhage.
  • I was the mother of a special needs daughter who faced major care challenges in her 19 years of life.

Books have been written about the blessings that come with caring for those rendered helpless in different phases of life. But with caregiving also comes the difficulties of isolation, identity loss, and exhaustion. It calls for daily sacrifices that clearly represent self-denial, taking up one’s cross, and persevering in a task that will not see its greatest reward until heaven.

A Dubious Honor

I once received an “award” from the editor of HomeLife magazine! But it was probably recognition that no one else wanted. At a Lifeway writers workshop, I was acknowledged to have received more rejections for submissions to HomeLife than anyone else in the room. 

Perhaps my fellow writers wondered why I would confess to the number of rejections required for the award. But I felt differently. I knew those rejections represented necessary stepping stones to eventual acceptances. My perseverance in continuing to push past the sometimes painful “doesn’t meet our needs” comments later paved the way for positive results. I even received a cover story assignment from HomeLife editors who began to recognize my name and refusal to surrender without a publication victory.

Jesus and Jack

In late Winter, with great trepidation, I make my annual trek to a local accounting office to file my tax return. However, I know I will also spend an extra hour listening to my exuberant accountant share about his most recent mission adventures.

Jack Roach is a respected local CPA. But anyone who knows him has no doubt that his considerable energy and strongest passion is directed toward sharing the love of Jesus through ministry. Besides local work in jail ministry, Jack’s lay-led mission projects take teams of volunteers into risky corners of our globe to share the gospel, provide practical service, and encourage believers.

I know, besides my tax results, I will be inspired by how Jack perseveres in prayer for a young Muslim girl who calls him “father.” His burden and the giving of others enabled her to receive medical treatment. We join Jack in longing for the day she embraces the Light of the World and comes to know the “Everlasting Father” through the salvation of her soul.

Why Wait?

Do you wait well? Or do you give up quickly if the line is long, the results aren’t immediate, or a prayer isn’t answered? Sometimes the fulfillment of even a God-given vision takes more time than expected and tests our capacity to persevere.

I have been inspired by the perseverance of my friend Doug as I have watched him hold fast and “chase after” his God-sent dream. For several years, Doug, a local architect with a young family and church leadership role, has vigilantly pursued his vision for a children’s interactive Bible museum in our city.

He has patiently (or not!) sought support, funding, and possible locations while gathering a creative leadership team to provide counsel and a support base to brainstorm and bounce off ideas about decision making. He has also developed extensive plans and story themes while pursuing community dialogue and involvement from local citizens and churches.

Called to Action

I love being active. I love playing sports and games, exploring new neighborhoods, and doing hands-on projects that show others love and compassion. This call to action is apparent in our Christian life in many ways. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to sit tight and watch the work of the Lord. We are called to take up our cross and follow the Lord—through action. This is great news! We get to be an active part of God’s plan for His people.

For many years, I’ve been active in missions, taking trips to places like Thailand, Haiti, and even Iowa, but God has more often and with more impact called me to action in the places I have lived. There is nothing like the joy of seeing a friend or neighbor come to know Christ. There is greater love shared through continuous relationship with those hurting around us.

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