Newly appointed Youth Vision WA Leadership Developer, Amit Khaira, shares some challenging insights on mission.
I wanted to make sure in this first post that readers would feel uplifted and encouraged, possibly even eager for the next instalment.(1) I am not gifted at “playing to the masses” and I know it is a skill I need to develop in order to “win friends and influence people”.(2) While I continue to develop in this area, I present to you an expression of concern.
“...the making of disciples, the confirmation and affirmation of disciples, and the ongoing teaching of disciples - the Great Commission”
There are 4.19 million full-time Christian workers and 95% are working within the Christian world.(3) There are 900 churches for every unreached people group we currently know of.(4) We have teams and organisations travelling to and working in areas where orphanages are actually the fronts for human trafficking...where more than 77% of the “orphans” still have at least one parent alive and many more have grandparents.(5) We have Christian organisations “planning trips around you”, and business class trips at that! “Go and experience God like never before over a weekend and we will be sure to have you back by Monday morning ready for work”.(6)
Maybe instead of jet-setting around the globe, why not give to those on ground level? Good question... but how can we feel confident about donating, even to reputable organisations who have seemingly stood the test of time, when, for example, there are staffers, as alleged by the Israel Security Agency, giving the Palestinian terror group Hamas $50 million in cash and supplies?(7)
Have we hijacked “the mission of God” and turned it into a individualistic feel-good exercise? Is missions about “me”, or is it about the “other”? Can it be about “both”? Do we see “the other” as we see ourselves? Are we engaged in mission in our everyday or are we compartmentalising our lives further? A local pastor friend of mine once commented that he was intrigued about locals who were so willing to board a plane to help the people of Africa and yet so unwilling to get to know the Africans on their street! Stick that in your metaphorical pipe and smoke it!(8)
Are you “On Mission”?(9) Are you and your faith community at a place where “missions-does-not- equal-passport?”. Imagine if Monday to Sunday became our mission...
Want to continue the conversation?
Contact Amit on firstname.lastname@example.org
1 They told me to dream big.
2 A cheeky throwback to one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published, written by Dale Carnegie in 1936.
3 Frontier Harvest Ministries 2007. Outdated I know but helpful to wrap our minds around this concept.
4 USCWM, Mission Frontiers 2001. Even more outdated...but still challenging.
5 Speaking about Cambodia specifically. UNICEF have published many reports in recent years pleading with volunteers to stay away from Cambodian orphanages and organisations. See www.unicef.org/cambodia/12681_23295.htm to find out more.
6 I won’t mention the organisation directly. I am convinced that not all that they do is bad, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned.
7 To find out more on this, have a look at Christianity Today October 2016 edition on page 23. I know it’s an extreme example, but this is happening.
8 For the record, I am not encouraging smoking in any way, shape or form. 9 Note the link to our Churches of Christ theme. Well played I thought.