• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Is it worth the investment?

investCross cultural ministry can call the best out of us. It can push us beyond our perceived capacities and abilities as we learn to rely ever more on a faithful and powerful God.  Yet, when ‘results’ are few, or when ‘fruit’ seems limited, or when the outcome of our efforts is not what we wanted or desired, we naturally ask ourselves: is it worth the investment?

That question is actually an assessment question. We are considering the impact or influence of our activity.  We are evaluating whether we should or should not continue to give our energies to a particular person, work or activity.

Here’s where our struggle and difficulty comes in.

We could respond to that assessment question by evaluating what is happening only from our personal perspective. By doing do, we can be lulled into thinking that nothing is happening, when a great deal of work is happening.  Or we can think lots is happening, when really it’s just a lot of activity with no sustainable fruit in the long term. We can get ourselves easily discouraged by our own assessment.  Or we can convince ourselves to stay engaged in a work that will not move us towards multiplying disciples and communities of believers.

The struggle and difficulty that may plague us should be addressed by asking that assessment question in a larger community than just ourselves.  Maybe this is simply a practical example of another application of the biblical truth that in the multitude of counselors there is wisdom (Proverbs 11:14).  Others provide that much needed perspective that we lack.  Others help us see more clearly the impact and influence of our investment.

Is it worth the investment? It’s a great question to ask ‘your community’.  You may not like all the answers, but if you ‘mine’ those responses for the truth that is there, it will refresh your heart to ‘excel still more’ in the work God has given each of us to do; in the work that God has given us as a community to do.

4 Responses

  1. Well said. It is one of the failings of moder Protestant Christians is that we are too individualistic. The perspectives of our community help see other facets. In my experiences as a missionary, I realized my vision was myopic, and I valued opportunities to discuss with other missionaries (not just RBMU/WT, but from other missions) who often had complementary and critical insights.

    My senior colleague Bruno de Leeuw quoted from time to time, “in the multitude of counsel there is much wisdom”.

    • I’m always amazed by the ‘quality’ of feedback that I get from others when I ask. Oftentimes it’s my own pride that gets in the way of asking for feedback from people about my ‘investment’.

  2. I so appreciated the articles by Amy Gibson in eLINK. She and Sean have grappled with this question in the face of resistance to the Gospel and weak support by their sending church. I praise God that in aligning themselves with God’s purposes, they can persevere with joy.

    • We need to figure out a way to link the eLink in with this blog so that we can point people to good resources/articles like you mentioned above.

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