Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Discipleship can be painfully slow

Here's a fascinating story about Mark and Lisa P, missionaries to an unreached people in Thailand. Over the past seven years, they were able to help local farmers with agricultural techniques and quickly gained respect in the village. But when their conversation turned to the gospel, the locals tuned out. It's another reminder that "a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him" (1 Cor. 2:14).

One thing I appreciate about this article is that the International Missions Board admits just how hard and discouraging the work of missions can be. We often hear the tear-jerking stories of conversion and the unprecedented revivals in faraway lands (as we should). Yet we can begin to assume that as soon as the gospel is proclaimed, people always respond and churches flourish. But we dare not forget how painfully slow discipleship can be.

Mark and Lisa have learned a valuable lesson through all this: "We have to trust God in His leadership, no matter what task He gives us, and we have to be faithful to that, even when it is frustrating and we can’t see the results...I think we knew that, but He let us experience it."

What a tragedy it would be if these missionaries, in an effort to boost their professions of faith and baptisms, began to dilute their message, making the gospel slightly more palatable to the locals. No, I think we see in Mark and Lisa true faithfulness to the gospel which will have far greater eternal results than any man-made method or measure of success.

You can read the whole article here.

1 comment:

  1. "It's another reminder that "a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him" I can totally relate to that in every way possible. There's a really wild debate that I thought would be of interest on evolution vs. intelligent design going on at http://www.intelligentdesignfacts.com

    ReplyDelete