Don't worry... this isn't part 5, of the ongoing perspective we've had in the prayers this past week. However, the situation and church in mention, got me thinking yesterday. Depending on the reports, roughly 500 or so missionaries leave the mission field every year. Some place the number as high as 700. There stories don't often make the news; certainly not mainstream, and often not even in lesser known publications or even in church circles.
Are not the reasons very similar? Are there not troubled marriages on the mission field? Difficult parent/child relationships and tensions? Do spouses not change over time and think, "I can't do this anymore?" Do they not experience a turn-around where the culture they are trying to impact for Christ ends up influencing them more and they fall from the faith? Fall from grace? Surely, this can't just be a Western civilization "thing", that pastors get caught up in the power of the pulpit; the personality of the pastorate, the money, the relationships...
There was a sage piece of advice once given to a pastor by a lifelong minister...
"Keep your hands off the women, the gold and the glory."
Relationships. Finances. Ego. The downfalls of many pastors lie in just those three areas.
When burnout happens among missionaries, we rarely hear about it and often, even less about why. So, I wonder... at that rate, much like in the pulpit; who will take their place and how quickly will they be ready?
Thus, when my friend updated social media yesterday with a picture of 400+ kids during Senior High bible camp of their praise and worship service and their "praying God would send them", I couldn't help but smile and thank God... along with 70 other people who also liked & loved the photo!
The struggle is real. The timing is crucial. God is Sovereign over the Earth and clearly pieces are being arranged that people may recognize to a greater degree, their desperate need for a Savior; and not just any savior, but Jesus Christ and Him alone.
Pray, this #missionsFriday, for missionaries; seemingly falling and walking from ministry in seeming obscurity. Pray God would protect and fortify their homes and marriages against the attacks of the enemy that would try to take them out. Pray temptation would flee and that they would stand strong in the commitment to God and the work He has called them to fulfill. Pray for the communities and the people groups they serve; may their be health and strength as they hear the Word of the Lord; as they respond; as they grow and mature in the faith and understanding of God through the teaching of the Word. Pray for the generation God is raising up; may the church be more and more, of the posture of usability; for whatever it is that God would have us to accomplish for His glory.
For the advancement of the Kingdom of God
For the cause of Jesus Christ.
Used to be an impact on our world,
For the glory of God.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.