The following is a discussion between two great missionaries. Keith Shumaker in Burkina Faso is sharing with Kevin Hall in South Africa some of the ways to get the national men and women to take ownership of the ministry there. Read this and let me know what you think. Ask any questions and we will discuss it with you in the comment section below.
Keith is answering the question of how to get the nationals to take ownership of the ministry. This is the sort of discussion that might take place in a class at the Our Generation Training Center!
This is a real battle in the ministry. I have tried to teach ownership in the ministry to many of the men here. They understand the principle easily but don’t always want to live it and follow it.
It is easier for them (as for all of us) to be leaches. It takes a real man of God that is driven and not afraid to work to take real ownership. It will mean many times personal sacrifice for them.
Most missionaries can float, be lazy, work half hearted because they have their support. A national in a third world country can’t unless he stays a leach.
I did have a pastor, Konate, tell me this morning, “I am looking at some villages or small towns near here so that our church can start a work without any help from the outside”.
I have told them on many occasions that I dream of the day when our churches can start a work without any help from America. I guess he wants to take the challenge.
The work will never really grow if they don’t take responsibility. It will always be an inferior church like Paul said the Corinthians were.
You need to really help teach their people how to give. It is hard for Sippo to teach his people how to give. They will say he is in it for the money. Have special services where you teach on giving or print some material to give them.
I tell them that I can only support a few works. If they continue to take, we will not be able to do more. I have really preached hard lately about evangelizing the world. Trying to give them a burden for the lost. If they get a great burden, I believe they will begin to take responsibility or ownership.
Use examples of other churches. Not just American churches. They think that American church can do it but they can’t. Prove to them others are doing it.
Living Water Baptist Church just bought a moto for Pastor Konate. I lead them in that but I didn’t pay it. We had enough money in the bank to do it. The people got excited. It will be good example to use in the other churches.
You must create a desire in them. A desire for ownership. Some will never get it. In my case the majority don’t but a few will.
Don’t get frustrated, keep teaching, preaching. It is like hitting a rock. Doesn’t seem like it will break but one day it does. Many give up right before success comes.
You have to give them responsibility and ownership. Many missionaries don’t want to. They make them feel inferior. They don’t make them feel equal.
I was accused of being a ball-hog. It hurt but it was true. I was afraid things would mess up but they will never take ownership if I don’t give them a chance.
Pastor Konate did a great job in my absence. When I got back he stopped leading. He became the servant again. I had to have three different talks with him. I had to tell him that I needed him to lead. That I couldn’t lead the church like it needs to be lead. I told him he can though. He has seen the importance. That I need him. He has really taken ownership.
You can teach it, and you need to but I think it is as important to show them and give them ownership.
I want to tell you that it isn’t easy. I have struggled with this. Some of my pastors are leaches.
I have a few that seem to really get it. I hope that the ones that get it will be a testimony to the others and the new ones coming along.
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