FIRST-PERSON: Call a missionary
O'FALLON, Ill. (BP) -- With the downsizing of the International Mission Board by up to 800 people, many longtime missionaries will be looking for ministry opportunities in the States. While they will be leaving the mission field (after some difficult and painful decisions), they still want to serve the cause of Christ in ministry.
Might Southern Baptist churches consider them when seeking a pastor and church staff member?
Here are three reasons why:
1. They are willing to do hard things. Sacrifice is not foreign to them. You won't have to wonder if they are willing to do difficult tasks or take on difficult challenges. They have proven that they can work hard for little thanks. That says a great deal about their work ethic and their character.
2. They know how to adapt and adjust to circumstances while remaining faithful to God's Word. They can help your church understand the changing culture around them while staying faithful to what God teaches. They can help you walk through any necessary changes without losing focus on God's unchanging Word.
3. They have demonstrated a willingness to put God first in their lives. You will feel confident that they are about God's Kingdom and not their own. Their sacrifices suggest they consider the things of God greater than their own comfort or fame. That is a strong recommendation.
Returning missionaries will have some adjustments to make. They will be working through the pain of leaving a field they cared deeply about. Coming back to the States will bring some challenges. But they have faced challenges before.
If your church is seeking a pastor or other vocational ministry leader, why not consider a missionary who is returning from the field? The Lord may have made them available to us for such a time as this.