As many of you are aware, our team out in narnia has been banging on a lot of doors to try to find workers to serve with us out here. Thus far, we have been very blessed to get quality, and Jesus-centered people referred to us. I have thought a bit on what sorts of people we are looking for and I had a great conversation with a fellow missionary today on the necessity for people full of the Lord, ready to be a slave to Christ.

With the proliferation of social justice mission, entreprenaueralism, and working together with a whole society, the doors are open wide for a lot of different kinds of people to join in mission work. Whereas a church planting exclusive ministry may get a certain kind of worker’s attention, community development from a Christian perspective can sometimes attract people who have very different reasons for engaging lost people on a regular basis. While I don’t want to divide this down the age-old lines of “proclamation vs. demonstration” in terms of our mission, these two activities certainly do attract different sorts of people. Further, it encourages me to keep making crystal clear the demonstration-proclamation blend of community transformation that ITeams is becoming known for.

After our talk on the phone today however, I realize that both more traditional agencies and innovative, edgy ones are experiencing the same problem. Basically, we are sometimes thought to be an opportunity for struggling Christians to get their head on their shoulders and be discipled while they do missions ministry.

So here’s the deal. We are not a disciple-training pilot program. We aren’t Master’s Commission or your local church’s discipleship 1-year initiative. We are missionaries serving in one of the more challenging places on earth. We don’t need skeptics questioning their salvation: we need soldiers ready to go after it. This is not to say for a moment that anyone on our team has their junk together or that we are finished being discipled, but the thing that must bleed out of all of us is a deep, committed love for Jesus and a desire to serve Him with all of our lives. If this isn’t what oozes out of a potential worker, then we really just have to wait for the right people.

My friend said on the phone today, “What if I was a recruiter for the Marines and someone was sent to me who had aspirations of being a Marine. They kind of know how to hold a gun and they are kind of in shape. They’re still not sure if they want to be a Marine or not. Can we send them to you?” We laughed but to a certain degree this is what we are saying when a pastor asks if a struggling Christian can come out and serve with us for 6 or 9 months. Give me a freaking break.

I’m not a mission mobilizer, nor do I get the onslaught of applications that agencies have to sort through. But I have been at this for about 12 years now and I know what is needed in at least being on the right path to become a “sent person”. As we talk with people anxious and crancked up, ready to serve overseas, may we be extremely aware of the need for slaves of Christ. To put it as straight as I can: we are not a replacement program for the local church because the local church did not do its job of making well-rounded, Gospel saturated disciples. We are missionaries who have been sent out from the local church who are desiring that entire communities and individual lives be transformed by Christ.

So there is my 2 cents for the day. We need soldiers, slaves of Christ to join with us in His mission. My prayer is that on both sides of the ocean we can constantly be making disciples that have a fire lit under them to be Christ’s ambassadors to the ends of the earth.