June 21, 2024
Character, Hardship, Resilience

Suffering: God’s method of developing resilience

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Missionary resilience For several months now, I have been thinking about this topic of resilience in cross-cultural workers. I admit that I have been somewhat troubled by what the Scriptures tell me about God’s method of using suffering to develop resilience. As I have said in previous posts on this topic, the Scriptures do not use the word “resilience”. But the word “perseverance”1 in the Greek, “hupomone” is found repeatedly in Holy Writ. It seems to capture the idea of resilience. So what do I find troubling in Scripture? In my thinking, the logical way to strengthen a missionary’s resilience is to: provide them with good training to prepare them for hard timesensure that they have excellent member care when they go through hard times. From a human perspective, I struggle to see how suffering in any way contributes to… Read the whole post
Gospel, Finishing Well

Finishing Well: Running Your Leg of the Race

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Finishing well Let’s continue thinking about finishing well in a ministry assignment. In our last blog post, we talked about receiving the baton well. So now we are running our leg of the race. We are now fully engaged in our ministry assignment. Furthermore, we have a working knowledge of our host language and culture. Yes, we will want to continue to grow in these areas as we serve. But it is now our turn to run well with the baton we have been given. How we run our leg of the race will significantly impact finishing well. Of course, we want our ministry to further the progress of the gospel. We want to make a contribution to the contextualization of the gospel in our host culture, building on the progress of those who served before us. In the New… Read the whole post
Training, Spiritual Disciplines, Character, Finishing Well, Spiritual Formation

Exploring Spiritual Formation: Discipline

The Problem I hate discipline. But I love what it does for me. When I see the word, I think of how I felt each time my parents punished me for my transgressions. Yet those episodes helped me learn right from wrong. And when I heard the gospel, I knew I was a sinner in need of a Savior. Though it was painful to admit my sin, I’ve loved what repentance and seeking the forgiveness of God have done for my life. Despite the benefits of discipline, the word itself can cause discomfort. As I talk with others about engaging in the spiritual disciplines, many say they feel an inner resistance to the concept due to the connotations of the word. There is, however, more to discipline than punishment. Here is a brief review of some concepts attached to “discipline.”… Read the whole post
Character, Spiritual Formation

Indirect Training?

In the past few days, I have once more recognized how pervasive the problem of pornography is – even among missionaries. A heart-wrenching conversation a week ago, a courageous email this week – all remind me of what J.D. Payne refers to as the pornification of society in Pressure Points: Twelve Global Issues Shaping the Face of the Church. Payne writes, “I was surprised to hear they felt that pornography is now a major issue in the church as well as among potential missionary candidates. Many are now assuming—especially among men—that missionary candidates have used pornography unless told otherwise. When such an expectation—particularly within the church—is commonplace, we find ourselves living in a pornified society.”… Read the whole post
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