Thursday, March 4, 2010

You get what you play for

There is an inescapable reality when you begin to live a missionary lifestyle. You are going to be in relationship with new people, people not like you, not like you at all.

The difference between living a missionary lifestyle and doing missionary projects is simply this: If I do an outreach oriented project in your neighborhood, I don't have to be in relationship with you. I plan with you in mind, I come in and serve you in a loving way and then I go back home. Home to my people who have similar jobs and interests and paychecks and lifestyles. The missionary however moves into the neighborhood with a different attitude. Maybe you don't physically move in (some do) but you move in with the purpose of making new friends, becoming a part of new family's lives. You still serve and do projects with the other person in mind, but this time your service has a long term relationship tied to the end of it. And that makes all the difference in the world.

There's a highway patrol investigator who now lives a missionary life who said to me, "You know Bobby, I used to pursue people just to lock 'em up to get 'em off the street, now I pursue them to get them back on their feet. Same people, different purpose."

There's an old saying that says, "Begin with the end in mind."

If the end is to visit and perform a kind act, then that's what you'll do. If the end is to make a new friend, then the same kind act will be planned for much differently...with a much different result.


1 - read/write comments:

Bubba McQueen said...

Well said Bobby. When you take the plunge into missionary thinking, it really takes over your entire day to day decision making process. Its a lifestyle...not a project.

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