I have entered my next phase in life. I quit my job and now I am employed by God to be a missionary. Mission work was always on my mind and now God is calling me to go forward. I have been stopped before because it was not the right time. We know that God never just drops people into ministry but rather He forms and equips us to accomplish His purpose in our life. Pauls epistles, for instance, required Paul to write them whom God formed. God could not just dictate the text to him but rather form Paul to write the letters free willingly. God placed the right people around him, ordained Paul to receive formal education, humbled him on the road, formed his character to be guided by the Holy Spirit and all other countless nuances for these letters to acquire the property of God’s Inspiration. This same formation applies to all of us. God has formed me to go and reason with people and prove to them that Christ is necessary for the salvation of mankind.
Now let’s begin talking about my life a little bit and how I can apply my formation to my missionary journey. I have been working for over 20 years in the white collar office environment that required a lot of planning, meetings, strategy, progress reports, project reviews, due dates and so forth. This process is very tedious and time-consuming. Everybody hates it but thinks they need it because progress would not happen without it. This is the process that the majority of churches have adapted to plant new churches and do mission work. Since I worked in this process for over 20 years I’ve picked up a few tricks to use to my advantage. I’ll tell you the truth, these tricks are self-centered but show the ugly truth of the process. Let me give you a short version of it. If I did not like a project or did not agree with leadership above me I would simply apply as much of this process as possible and get as many people involved into the project as possible and finally, I would preach the importance of the process or in other words “hype it up”. I literally killed project using this method. The method that is supposed to help us manage and accomplish projects in a timely manner turns out to be a complete flop. Try this at home with your kids and see what happens. Think about this, most people have their opinion of how to get things done and if you get two leaders together they almost never see eye to eye and it becomes a long drawn-out process to hash things out, now let’s get 10 people into this process. Oh boy, here is what comes to my mind; long days at work, stress, hard feelings and at times tears. I can just remember all the conflicts that were made due to this process that we love so much. I am not done yet, then to resolve all the conflicts more requirements were created and more sign-offs were implemented to make sure things would run smoothly. At this point, you might be having feelings of anger or laughter inside of you by recollecting memories of something similar in your life. Now let’s get to the good part, *wink wink*. If I wanted to get things done fast I would remove as much of this process as possible – that included not inviting people to the meetings, skipping meeting, excluding people from projects, turning off my email, completely skipping project reviews, make meeting into simple conversations such as “he said” or “she said”, implementing projects and programs without involving anyone above me and many others such things. In the end, the job got done on time and I had free time to walk around the building and pray. At times I was able to cut the process down by 80%. What does that tell you? The process we use today needs a great awakening.
Let’s look at Jesus, I doubt He had this elaborate process to manage his daily tasks. We can excuse Jesus by saying “Well, He is God and it’s not fair to use Him as an example”. Let’s take Paul then, I don’t think he would accomplish as much as he did if we would place him into our church planting or mission process. Now I am not here to state that we need to stop organizational process completely, on the contrary, we need to improve/change the process. Apostle Paul was a very intelligent man with a very strategic mindset. Of all people, he would use planning and strategy to be most effective and most efficient on his missionary journeys. He went as far as working part time to make sure that his mission would not be a stumbling block for the new converts. There are many great strategies today such as Multi-site Expansion Strategy, Satellite Church Strategy, Multicultural Strategy, House Church Strategy and even Classic Missionary Strategy. I am not against these strategies but the process that we use to accomplish them. It’s never on time and is always over budget.
What am I proposing then? I am not going to claim that I have a working solution or make it my life’s goal to figure out. I am only here to prove that mission work does not have to be complicated and elaborate but perfectly natural part of our life. You don’t need some big shot ministry making you feel insignificant and tell you that you need all the training in the world. In the end, we are all human beings and really not that much different. Most cultural differences can be summarized in about an hour. The ideas that I have in mind are more organic in nature rather than some systematic project process. I have read a few interesting books on project management and seen a few companies that use some very interesting management techniques that inspired me to try something similar in my life. The old system never worked for me in the past then why implement it in my next phase in life. The plan is to align my planning to the way I think and do things outside of work. This starts from prayer for me. I plan with God in life, He is my guide. Again this is my personal process and it may not work for you. You will have to develop your own process but I believe this will serve you as an example to follow. Hopefully, this will also inspire a few of you to go out there on a mission trip of your own.
Now, we need a project to work on to show this process in action, there is no sense of me describing it at this point. I was praying and meditating on the word and asking God where He wants me to go first and the word that I received was “Go to Egypt”. So follow me along as I plan this trip as if I am going to see a friend over there or do some sight seeing. I have never been to a mission trip before so I am a good clean slate to start from. Sometimes I think we have too many ideas and they confuse us and slow us down. Let me inform you about a few more thing about me to establish a better foundation for you as readers. I am from Russia and English is my second language. My education background is in Science (BS) and Theology (MTh). As far as my spiritual gifts or experience, it’s in teaching theology, preaching, leading small groups and social media. I have some outreach experience, such as street healing and evangelism but nothing to boast about. Let’s just say it does not come naturally to me. If it was up to me I would not be doing this but I want God’s will to be done in my life. I prayed about this for many years already and this is His will. This should be fun and interesting.
If this interests you or simply find it entertaining then follow my missionary journey to Egypt.
Blessing to all of you,