As a missionary, you are dealing with national leaders on a regular basis. Sometimes dealing with them causes problems because you want to be the leader and you almost think of them as children–as people that should obey you and respect you. But you need to understand them and think of them as your equals. You need to have the mindset that even though they support you, they should be treated as equals. You should be very careful as to how you lead.


Actually, there is more pressure on you than on them because you are in the leadership position. You realize how you feel when a pastor treats you unintentionally, or you feel that you are treated as a second class citizen. You feel that you are not respected as a man of God on the same level that the pastor is. It gets under your skin and on your nerves pretty badly because you know that you are especially used of God, called of God, and sent of God. In the same way, the national on the field where you’re working is in that very same position. So I want to challenge you to be very, very careful that you work with the national leadership that God has given you with the utmost respect and the utmost love, that you would respect him, that you would back off. Don’t try to push it, don’t try to make him obey you. Lead him; don’t boss him around. Inspire him and motivate him; don’t manipulate him. He is the man that God has placed to work with you.

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