I absolutely love the above picture! I do not know the story behind it but let me tell it to you the way that I will tell my two year old son, Thatcher, when I show him the picture.
One day there were many people working in a house making clothes with their sewing machines. They were doing a very good job but then all of a sudden they got to a point where they could not do there job anymore. The sewing machine broke!! (sound effect: dunt.. dunt.. dun..) No one could figure out what they should do. They used all of their resources but could not figure out a solution to their new problem. They had such grand dreams of providing clothes to everyone in the community.
Someone remembered that there was a sewing machine on the other side of the river. As people began to take needle and thread and work while their system was down (okay this isn’t a kids story anymore but a metaphor). They decided that someone should stop the work and cross the river to gather needed resources and people to finish the job. Even though they had many, many people in the village now helping them they were in need of somethings that would accelerate the work. As they discussed who should put down their needle and thread and cross the river they look out and saw this man coming their way across the river. He begins to scream, “I heard you had a need and I am here to help!”.
The man takes a sewing machine that had been abandoned for years and takes it to a place where it meets a huge need. He sets the sewing machine down, heads back across the river spending every amount of energy and dollar he can to find and relocate resources to see a job done on the other side of the river. Along the way he finds a joy that is seen in the smile in the picture.
Okay, maybe that wasn’t Pilgrim Progress material but it would make a good story for my son to learn about missions.
I firmly believe one of the greatest, if not the greatest needs, in modern missions is for pioneering senders. Let me make sure you know what I mean by this word combination. Pioneer as a verb: Develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge, or activity). As a noun: A person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area. Sender (as used in modern missions terminology) one who gives his or her life to mobilize resources and people for the cause of world missions. We need PIONEER SENDERS!
Senders make it their mission in life to spread God’s mission. They use all the resources they possess to spread the Word and reach people in need of God. We need senders who are willing to roll up their sleeve, alter their schedules, forsake their hobbies and pioneer in this modern era of missions. As Seth Barnes of A.I.M. puts it “we need people to live radical lives in a comfortable world!”.
We know the stories of the Jim Elliots, William Careys, and Aarons in northern Africa. I praise God for them and would never want you I was down playing their importance. It is their radical steps of faith and pioneering spirit that now calls upon us senders to meet their radical obedience with the same radical obedience to God’s mission in this world.
In the same manner many have consecrated their lives to the cause of the great commissions as goers/missionaries I do the same as a sender! We need to have a holy discontent for the current spiritual condition of the world. We need to act radically and pioneer as senders.
Here are some areas that I see need pioneering by senders:
Our relationship with the goer families. They cannot be a prayer card to us anymore. They need to become part of our lives. We need to develop strong enough relationships with them they can share the good and the bad with us. They need to know we have skin in the game.
Our relations with the work. Regardless if you have a great deal of money or a small amount you have more to offer to missions than just your money. You need you to give your brain, influence, creativity, and anything else you have been using to build your kingdom for His kingdom.
Our relationship with the mission field. If you live in America you are surrounded by international businesses. It is very likely you know of someone who works for company that does business internationally. They do not just go oversees for vacation or to dig a ditch but they go and work on projects they have been working on stateside all year. We live in a global world. My work today can and does correlate with a missionaries work tomorrow.
I will have much more to say about this topic over the next couple of weeks. I want to share my heart with you about missions, senders, living radically, India, and somethings I believe God is leading my wife and I to do. I hope you will stay tuned and sign up to get this by email if you haven’t already.
By the way.. look around do you have any “old type writers” that need to be carried across the river? Do you have the ability to solve an issue that a missionary is facing? It is time for us senders to step up and live pioneering lives!
I have dozens of awesome goer friends with great blogs. If you go to www.bcwe.org you will find links to them there.