Retain Longterm Missionaries

No Shortcuts

Missionaries jump into a brand new context with different people, customs, food, communication styles, and language than their used to. Many feel over their heads and end up not lasting as long as they planned on the mission field. In this session from Missio Nexus' On Mission webinar, Dr. David Wilson, Missions Pastor at Trinity Church in Redlands, California, addresses the retention of longterm missionaries. He pulls from Jesus' illustration of the vine and branches from John 15 to highlight three key points to promote longevity on the mission field. 

David listed three principles to consider to retain longterm missionaries:
  1. Maturity
  2. Rocky soil, or willingness to endure hardship
  3. Pruning, or ability to undergo God's refinement 

Which of David's three points stood out to you the most? Why?
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How have you seen maturity play an important role in mission work? What tendencies have you noticed in mature and immature Christians on the mission field?
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When have you endured hardships in missions, or in the Christian life in general? How did those experiences shape the way you minister to others and relate to God?
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Have you ever had difficulty determining the difference between God's discipline and God's "pruning"? Why do you think it's hard to distinguish between the two? How have you discerned the distinction in the past?
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In what ways could you encourage missionaries you know this week? If you are involved in sending missionaries overseas, how could you implement these three principles in the lives of the missionaries you lead? If you're on the field, how could you apply David's points in your life this week?
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There are no shortcuts to maintaining longterm missionaries. It takes diligence, training, and much prayer. Pray for the missionaries in your life this week. Ask God to grow them, to sustain them through hardship, and to refine them through the work of the Holy Spirit. In you're on the field, be encouraged—God works in you and through you for His glory and you are not forgotten.

To learn more about Missio Nexus, or to attend their next event, click here.