Watching Out For Each Other

Why do you think missionaries leave the field? Finances? Tropical disease? Sexual sin? Lack of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? According to Thomas Hale, author of On Being A Missionary, interpersonal conflict, “is the number-one cause of missionaries leaving the field earlier than planned. It is also the number-one cause of unfruitfulness in missionary teams.”

As Team Leader this is one of the top things that keeps Mike awake at nights. What if God trains us, sends us to the right place, provides all the resources we need, the nationals are receptive and then…and then…the missionaries screw it up because we got in a fight with each other about something stupid. It happens…a lot.

In an effort to provide for the spiritual care and feeding of our fellow missionaries, Mike began two new book studies for our team. Each week Mike will lead both hour-long studies. The Clows, the Pettengills and the Troxells are studying The Meaning Of Marriage by Tim Keller. At the same time Shannon, Kate and Mike are studying The Secret Of Contentment by William Barcley.

No, book studies are not the answer to all of our sins and character flaws. But, this ministry and our missionaries are too important to let it all become a footnote in some report. We must and we will care for each other as missionaries, as Christians and as humans. We will fight with each other and have conflicts, but we will love each other and care for this ministry. We will communicate, pray and glorify God, even in our problems.