Thursday, February 21, 2013

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.

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