Two Sides of Missions
Deep within our hearts, we may know that there are two sides of missions – the giving and the receiving ends, yet we tend to focus on the first. As those going out to do missions in another country, we tend to think that we have more to give to others than to receive from them. While I do not doubt the genuineness of our actions, some do have a warped mindset.
I would propose that missions is an interaction of cultures that results in learning experiences for both the mission team and the local church. It is never a one way thing. As we go into another culture, we should adopt a learner’s mentality. Do not think too highly of ourselves as though we have a better technique, a more complicated teaching or a more systematic administration, etc. What works in our culture may not work in others. Even if ours are really better, let us be humble enough to consider others better than ourselves. There are bound to be areas where we are lacking in and we can actually learn from them. Missions is not just about output, it’s a time of great input too. Our reliance on techniques and technology may be redundant and irrelevant to them. If we only know how to make the teachings of Jesus sound more complicated, what good is it to them if they do not understand? If we only know how to play mind twisting intellectual games, where is the fun of simplicity? Let go of those “colonialistic” mindsets and stop the “tyranny” of missions. Even if we are pouring our money in, please do not use money as a weapon of missions to control others. It is just a tool for missions to help accomplish the will of God on earth. Let us do missions with a humble heart: to give and also to receive.