The easy way to have a huge ministry impact
Anonymous asked: Hi Unka Glen, my church youth group is going on a mission to Christian youths in the barren small towns of UAE, Middle East, and in September, we’ll be going to other parts of the Middle East. They asked me to give a few talks, and I’m honored and really excited, but most of all, I’m scared. Speaking’s not really my forte. Would appreciate some tips. Thank you! :)
Unka Glen answered: Dang girl, the United Arab Emirates? If you’re ever in Chicago, the milkshakes are on me. Working with Chicago gang members might sound pretty tough to you, but believe me, I’ve got mad respect for what you’ll be doing.
As for tips, I’ve got a great one on this, and you’re gonna love it. When it comes to any kind of missions, there are two big things you want to accomplish, the first is to listen to the people, get a sense of their struggles, see the obstacles in the path of their forward spiritual progress, and speak to those obstacles, hopefully breaking them down.
That’s a bit much to ask of you on a short-term missions trip.
The other big thing you want to accomplish in missions is encouragement and exhortation. In my operation, I make it clear, I can preach to these people, sort them out, help them see the way forward, and handle all the technical and theological aspects of moving them forward, but without the encouragement of their brothers and sisters, it’s not going to do much good.
Encouragement and exhortation are pretty simple to express, hard to mess up, and the effectiveness you can add to the existing ministries on the ground is truly substantial. So leave the fancy stuff to the professionals, and focus on encouragement and exhortation. You can be the kind of vital encouragement that gives people what they need to take it to the next level.
So what might be encouraging to them? Well, maybe they have family pressure to not become Christian. So you tell them that they have family all over the world, and we’ve got your back, and we love you, and we’re praying for your earthly family, that you would find favor with them, and that they would be drawn closer to the Lord.
Maybe they’re dealing with persecution from the local government. Encourage them that the early church had to meet in secret too, but that great things came out of those hard times, and that you expect that they will gain a strength others only dare to dream of, and that they are becoming the kind of Christians that are respected the world over.
Break the strongholds that say they should be ashamed of their chains, and put the crown of glory on their heads.
And that leads us to exhortation. The goal of exhortation is to call people to their higher selves. To show them that they are FAR stronger than they think they are, and that they can keep going. They may be weary from their struggles, and they may be near the end of their strength, but they’re nowhere near the end of God’s strength.
Exhortation is about coming alongside others and saying, “c’mon and give this one more try. I’m right here with you, let’s lift it together.” It’s about telling people they’ve got the enemy trembling. It’s about telling them to look at their troubles and and say, “mountain, get out of my way!”
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for God is faithful to fulfill His promises. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” Hebrews 10:23-25a
Thank you for this! I’m just going to keep that here. :)