FOR MISSIONARIES ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay.... you don't have to be a missionary to read this, BUT I think it can be a blessing FOR missionaries who often are faced with the most UNREASONABLE expectations out there!
God has opened a very unusual door for me into the Hollywood Community, and has given me as friends some really incredible and exceptionally talented writers, actors, directors, producers.
One of the funniest nights I spent visiting with some of them was when I sat around just listening to a couple of very easily recognizable performers comparing notes on how they became...................................
"AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS!"
The more they talked and the more they described how many YEARS it took them to become "AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS" and all the set backs and dissapointments and seemingly GO NOWHERE parts they took and that they experienced along the way, the harder I laughed and at the same time the more I knew EVEN THOUGH I WAS NOT IN THAT COMMUNITY I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT!
One of my friends a very famous "Overnight Sensation" comedienne sat there telling us how that it took her THIRTY YEARS to be come "AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS"
She described all the "gigs" she had done including " member of audience in Pepsi Commercial Where Michael Jackson Set His Hair On Fire.....(uncredited)
Space Alien extra in Sci Fi movie,(Uncredited) Concertgoer in Teen Movie,(Uncredited) Crowd Member in Mafia movie,(Uncredited) on and on all uncredited, uncredited, uncredited, yet when after Thirty years she finally HIT IT BIG everyone assumed she was an OVERNIGHT SENSATION!
I think the same thing holds true for Missionary Works!
BOTH FOREIGN AND HOME!!!!
I can't begin to tell you how many times I have been asked THIS QUESTION............
"HOW MANY ARE YOU RUNNIN'?"
And when the answer comes in at LESS than a Million (WAYYYYYYY LESS) the dissapointment is palpable!
The pressure on Missionaries to wildly inflate numbers is incredible !
For example our work here in Germany is very young. We now have Two services on Sunday to accomodate our growing membership, German service at Ten AM and English International service at One PM. Thats in addition to several week night services. We have been baptizing people every Sunday for the last several weeks. IS it always like that? I WISH!
We have won, trained and sent out OUR first missionary to the country of Nigeria and now have THREE WORKS going there! Another Family wanting to go to Cameroon, ANOTHER wanting to go back to Spain with the Acts 2:38 message, A new work developing here in the village I live in outside of Augsburg, and people from all over Europe AND Africa now Baptized in Jesus Name and filled with the Holy Ghost!
And yet because we work with many many refugees that are constantly on the move our size rises and falls rises and falls, it isn't easy BUT Blazing a new territory and path for the Church of Jesus Christ is NEVER easy as the battle with Demon Forces to TAKE THE DOMINION over the areas they are usurpers in is sometimes one that consumes the first several years of your ministry!
What kind of cracks me up is that many times the Pastors dissapointed with a young Church in a foreign land that is deeply traumatized by FIFTEEN YEARS OF NAZI DICTATORSHIP THE HOLOCAUST TWO WORLD WARS and YEARS OF SOVIET OCCUPATION running LESS than a thousand members, CONTRASTS with the fact that they have a church that THEY pastor that may be EIGHTY or more years old in a land of liberty with access to Fellowship Meetings, Evangelists, Conferences , Fellowship and More and yet run forty or fifty if THAT! And THAT after a succession of men of God, tons of move ins and sometimes outright proselityzing from OTHER Apostolic Churches in a hundred mile or more radius!
Yes the expectations on you missionaries are often absolutely UNREAL!
Some look at the Book Of Acts Chapter Two and wonder "WHY DON'T WE HAVE REVIVALS LIKE THAT???? I mean WOW! Three Thousand added to the CHURCH IN ONE DAY!!!"
Oh Really???? You REALLY think that happened in ONE DAY????
Oh my friend you couldn't be MORE WRONG!!!!!!
Do you realize that for God to get Israel to the point that he COULD bring in THREE THOUSAND "In One Day" took him over ONE THOUSAND YEARS! Actually More like TWO THOUSAND if you go all the way back! It took him calling Abram out of UR of the Chaldees, Isaac and Jacob and all HIS Shenanigans, Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt so that he might be a saviour not just to his brethren but TO THE WHOLE WORLD! (Zaph Nath Pan Ea!) Four hundred years of slavery then the Exodus with Moses, Forty Years in the Wilderness, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha ,Prophet after Prophet Deliverance after Deliverance Assyrian Captivities Babylonian Captivities, Famines Wars Horrors finally John the Baptists ministry, Jesus earthly ministry Crucifixion Burial and Resurrection Three years of training men and women for the work of the Gospel, all that to get to the day of Pentecost and be.......
AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS!
Before God brought in Three Thousand New Souls not only had he had to work in Israel for over Two Thousand Years but he had to EMPOWER WITH THE HOLY GHOST that same morning ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEASONED men and women who had been basically in Bible School directly taught by Jesus Christ for Three Solid Years of in depth training and preparation!
In fact if you divide three thousand by one hundred and twenty you come up with a ratio of just Twenty Five new Converts to One Seasoned Mentor!
And it took God TWO THOUSAND YEARS TO PRODUCE THEM!!!!!!
The other day I was talking with a missionary who just arrived in his field of labour and already I could pick up the stress that he felt at beginning to have to produce NUMBERS. I mean "You've been there three months and aren't running One Hundred Yet?????"
WHAT'S WRONG WITCHA???? WHAT ARE YOU DOING???!!!!
But Fellow Missionaries you can rest assured that the word of God is true You WILL reap in DUE SEASON if you don't FAINT (QUIT)
WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T QUIT!!!!!
I sit over here with my support at an all time low, three months of electric bills not paid surely to be shut off any day now, rent one month past due on the church, just waiting for an eviction notice I mean THIS has been a VERY HARD three months ! BUT........................I HAVE BECOME AN EXPERT JUGGLER!!
I'm of the philosophy that Towels were made for mopping up Blood Sweat and Tears NOT for throwing in!
The song is TRUE!!!
"Though Satan Rages We Cannot Be Defeated! We've Got the Power In the Name of the Lord!"
If you are a missionary and under pressure to be an OVERNIGHT SUCCESS.... welcome to the club! Just hang in there! Noah Preached to several generations and saw a grand total of EIGHT including himself in the ark when the flood came YET IT CAN TRULY BE SAID OF NOAH that he was the Saviour of the World! Because ALL THE WORLD TODAY owes its existence to his preaching and obedience to God.
You may NOT see the kind of revival in your lifetime that you desire... I guess it takes years of being a missionary to be able to say...
Just be faithful to do what YOU are called to do knowing that you may very well be laying the foundation for WONDERFUL REVIVAL YET TO COME!
ANOTHER GENERATION may reap the revival that YOU have sown! And yet in the BIG PICTURE it simply doesn't matter!
WE SHALL REAP IN DUE SEASON!
OVERNIGHT SUCCESS ??????? HA! THERE AINT NO SUCH THING!!!!!
YOU MAY QUOTE ME!