Relationship, The Key To Short-term Missions

As I make this post I am writing from the nation of Honduras. Andrew Post and I arrived here yesterday. We are located in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. We are ultimately hosted by Pastor Manfredy Zelaya, a long-time friend of mine. I am also using a Spanish keyboard so please bear with me and do not assume my typing is that bad! You will notice...I am not using any contractions!

I want to make this post about relationship. Too much short-term missions work is not done out of relationship. This is what I mean. Many times folks do short-term missions work as a one-time good deal. They visit one place and never return. It is not that God cannot work at all through this type of reaching out, but obviously He is not given the opportunity to build on any foundation that is laid.

I met Pastor Manfredy years back through e-mail. He was connected at one time with the church I would later come to pastor. He came to the States and we met. I hosted him in my church and home. The next year I visited Pastor Manfredy here in Honduras in order to know more about his ministry. It quickly became very obvious that God was connecting the two of us. In the following years I would make several more trips to this beautiful nation as God would build on the foundation that was being laid. During these times something else was happening. A genuine relationship was being established betweet Pastor Manfredy and myself. We would sit, talk, and pray quite a bit.

Through Pastor Manfredy other vital relationships have been established between folks here in Honduras and myself. I am beginning to know the heart of the ministry here and its most crucial needs. This is what short-term missions is all about. Again, it is all about relationships. Relationship is the foundation of continual ministry.

I learned early on, as one with a heart for the nations, that the number of countries and places I can visit has nothing to do with accomplishing significant, eternal work for the kingdom. We must listen keenly to God concerning short-term missions and where we are to be involved. And we must remember that the key for doing anything in Gods kingdom involves relationships, especially in winning people to Jesus...and raising them up to be mature, effective followers of Jesus Christ.

Where Is Your Treasure?

I've always been intrigued by something Jesus said one day. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". I have often pondered His statement. This one has really gotten my attention lately. "Where your treasure is - there your heart will be also". What is my treasure? The treasure Jesus was talking about is something like a deposit. A deposit of something extremely valuable to you. 

Let me name 3 general deposits we all make every day of our lives: Time, energy, and money. Here's the question: Where are you depositing your time, energy, and money? Wherever that is - there your treasure is, and thus your heart.

I really enjoy fishing. I've done a lot of fishing in my life but I haven't been fishing in quite a while. It's not that I've quit fishing, I have simply found a better depository for my time, energy, and money! That depository is God's kingdom and all He has planned for me. Again Jesus said, "Where your treasure is (deposit of time, energy, and $), there your heart will be also." In order to be effective in serving Jesus He has to have possession of our hearts. Our hearts invested in Him.

I remember growing up hearing the statement "His heart just wasn't in it." It's when a person undertakes a task but they just don't give it their ALL. You can do it, but you just don't give it all you've got. I've heard coaches talk about athletes that are good but have no heart. Many Christ-followers are like this. We must be careful that we don't profess to serve Him, but our hearts are just not in it...because our treasure is deposited in the things of this world.

In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Bottom line: Let's be careful that our treasure (along with our heart) is not stored up in the things that are passing away. If our heart is fully surrendered to Jesus, then our treasure will BE Jesus! So where is your treasure today?