We need to ask questions
“It is easy to become too comfortable with the way things are and with where we are,” wrote Joshua Bogunjoko, SIM International’s director, recently. “We need to be willing to ask questions that make us feel uncomfortable, questions that we would prefer not to ask … The call to be lights and witnesses to a troubled and dying world should raise new questions in our hearts.”
He was talking about critical reflection – directed by the Holy Spirit – on the state of the lost, and how our ministries, our attitudes, mind-set and preferences might have become an unintended barrier to the opportunity for some to hear the gospel.
“Could the way we do missionary sending and church engagement be a significant barrier to churches seeing the needs of the lost and the barriers that keep them from the Saviour?“ he asked. “We may want to reflect on situations, belief systems, or even our own evangelical practices that could be a barrier to the gospel and thus need to be crossed.”
It was a letter to the SIM family, but any individuals in mission can do this kind of self-evaluation.
People involved in mission are well aware of crossing barriers – the ones that obviously impinge on them – which they need to address in order to go and live somewhere: distance and difficult climate, for instance. Or other barriers that apply whether our cross-cultural ministry is at home or overseas: language and unfamiliar customs. But there are more subtle barriers.
Joshua is suggesting that we also look at those barriers which are just as much of a stumbling block for us engaging with people living and dying without Christ – the ones we may carry ourselves as ‘baggage’.
Food for thought.