Thursday, October 26, 2006

Quit Whining!

A few years ago, some pastor friends and I went on a mission trip. We traveled to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. In some of the most remote villages outside the Killing Fields of the former Khmer Roughe, I was the first white person many of these Cambodians had ever seen!

And while I was there to talk to them about Jesus, they taught me something about Him I’ll never forget—Jesus can grow His kingdom without our help. And without our wallets. He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills doesn’t need us, or our money, near as much as we so desperately need Him. Luke 19:40 [NIV] says, "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

In Cambodia, maybe they already are. Because many Adventist churches there meet on what amounts to a really large front porch on stilts in the middle of a rice paddy. The pastor and family live in the back of the porch under the roof. But most of the structure is devoted to a really big porch! They do that so they can say that church is really just a house. So the government will leave them alone. But every Sabbath and many weekdays, the porch is full of people. And the Adventist church is growing in Cambodia, house by house, porch by porch, because of the ordinary things they do on them. Things and like walking and talking. Eating and drinking. Praying and partying. Healing and blessing. Just showing up. Offering personal invitations.

They do that in Cambodia because they don’t have millions of dollars to spend on evangelism. Most of them don’t even have shoes. They do it that way because they cannot rely on expensive satellites circling the globe to do their job for them. Most of them are grateful for a roof over their heads. They do it that way because they don’t have the latest video clips, praise music, and podcasts. They obviously don’t need them. But what shocked me, was the growing realization, that we might not either! If we would simply start treating every day, every conversation, every question asked, every ordinary thing we do and say as outreach.

What my Cambodian brothers and sisters in Christ taught me is to stop whining about not having enough evangelism money to do stuff [although Christ hasn’t quite given me that victory yet!] The Kingdom is not about money. And never has been. It’s not just about mission trips. It’s not just about evangelism traditionally understood. It’s about choosing to treat every ordinary thing we do or say as outreach and personally inviting others to follow Jesus with you.

1 comment:

gary said...

Like! Reminds me of something Rich Mullins said.