An open letter to two couples I do not know...

Photo by Sophie Higginbottom on Unsplash

Photo by Sophie Higginbottom on Unsplash

In an online ministry forum this question was asked by Robert Murray:

"I have two young couples that are just preparing to start deputation. They have both been seeking help and advice on things they should know or do. What do you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?" 

Dear Couples interested in serving Christ on a mission for Him,

I am thrilled to hear of your desire to serve the Lord. Your calling distinguishes you and will dispatch you to a place unfamiliar and to a people unknown. Your friend, Robert Murray, said you seek advice about missionary service

Here is my advice to you:

  1. Give more than you take. 
  2. Love more than you are given love.
  3. Pursue excellence.
  4. Show your heart, people will catch your vision.
  5. Give grace to everyone including yourselves.
  6. Be honest with statistics. Remember, it’s the call of God which validates you. Your statistical data does not validate your need to be on your field.
  7. Meet each week with your pastor.
  8. Stay in the Word. 
  9. Consider your family’s spiritual growth if you are preaching the same message each week.
  10. Tell God everything. He listens. 
  11. When asked of hardships, speak of blessings. Light afflictions last moments.
  12. When asked to speak of the worst experience, speak of the reward of serving. Plumbers have bad experiences too. One bad day of deputation is better than 10 seconds in Hell. 
  13. Schedule time for fun.
  14. Discipline your children at home so the children only need a calm word for guidance.
  15. Eat with discipline, discernment, and discretion.
  16. Schedule 90% of your meetings within a 300-mile radius of home.
  17. Smile. 
  18. Live and act as if you serve the Sustainer of life. You do. Do all things with this awareness, He loves you. 
  19. Give 40 hours per week to contacting churches for support. The people who support you will work forty hours per week at their job. 
  20. Slothfulness is a sin.
  21. Love God.
  22. Love Others.
  23. Never seek revenge.  “If you can revenge yourself, DON’T. If you could do it as easily as open your hand, keep it shut. If one bitter word could end the argument, ask for grace to spare that bitter word.” (Spurgeon)
  24. Never criticize. Ever.
  25. Never gossip. Ever.

What is your advice?