Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Super Christians a.k.a. Missionaries

     Every missionary, I know or have met, cringes at the term, “Super Christian.” And many believers in the US don't like the term either, but use it none the less. As if, just by serving over seas, that person has some how become better, more spiritual, faster, stronger, like the 6 million dollar Christian man. Missionaries humbly defend, “I'm just like any Christian. I'm not special and definitely not perfect. I'm just doing what God 'called' me to do.” I even know one missionary who refuses to use the word “calling,” to avoid the inference that God has given them a uniquely, special, and more important task.
     Through out my travels and productions working with missionaries, I can confirm that they are not perfect. I've never met a more motley, disarrayed, diverse, damaged, and down right weird group of people than missionaries. Just live in their homes for a few days and you'll see that very clearly.
     And still people persist, as did one visiting pastor from the United States. He came to help lead a spiritual renewal conference for missionaries, (a conference which by its very existence and necessity points to the fact that missionaries are no different and also need to be refreshed, renewed, and encouraged as others). After a time of sharing prayer requests and praises, He applauded the group, “You all are amazing. Listen to yourselves. You just praised God for the church you built this weekend, and for the fear God removed when you husband took a team into the jungle for a month. When we have a prayer time at our church, people stand up to praise God for helping them pass a test, and that their Nana's coming to visit next week. You guys don't like to to admit it but you are super.”
      The difference is notable, but not so great in reality. There is really only one difference between these missionaries, these so called “Super Christians,” and the people that fill the pews of many churches in the states. Willingness. In all the missionaries, which I have met, that is the one constant in their stories. Some are skilled and other aren't. Some are passionate about evangelism and some dreaded leaving the states to serve over seas. Some work in education, others in technical labor, and others are glorified taxi-drivers. And yet all are willing. Willing to be used by God. Willing to go. Willing to let God change them and mold them through hardship and suffering. Willing to leave their friends and family to follow Christ. Willing to give up what they can't keep in order to gain what they can't lose. Willing to have their heart broken for the things that breaks Gods. Willing to lose their own identity in order that Christ may be seen in them. Somewhere along their life they said, “Okay God, sure, yeah I'll follow you.”
     All the perceived superior spirituality of missionaries is the reward of their willingness, of that simple answer, yes. So... if that is the only difference; I have to ask the question, “Why aren't their more 'Super Christians'?”

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