Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

The Foreign Missionary Gig

Man, I really should have gone that route.  What a deal!  You go “way over there” visiting another land.  You see the world! A visit overseas! A tour! The boss is way far away, back in America, and you are free!  You do what seems best and write a letter from time to time to report on the mission.   You do some socializing, some evangelism, get a convert or two to “testify,” and stay in touch so you have a regular witness to your work who can corroborate.  And those poor folks “over there”  are eager to have rich missionary friends from America.  So “conversion” is a great gig!

A sweet deal for the missionary, too.  Visit another world, a trip abroad.  No boss to bother you.  Tour as you like.  Make some friends; those fawning foreigners are always happy to have a “rich American” contact.  Freedom.  No accountability.  But there are mutual benefits shared by the church and the missionary.  The church draws in the bucks for itself by boasting of the missionary it supports.  “We do missions!  We support people ‘over there’! So keep supporting us so we can support them!”

Yeah, that could have been a sweet deal.  Local missions to prisoners just don’t seem to arouse the passion for which to pay out support.   And, well, maybe that tithe has to be given up to the local church so everyone knows  we are in good standing with the Lord and His people.

Mission work back home?  Nah.  Anybody can say they do it!  Who can tell?  How can one “mission” be checked, overseen, and distinguished from another?  Besides, the church can’t provoke jealousy among the people over who is doing the most work or who “deserves” support.  Forget it.  You have to go “over there” to do mission work and get paid. 

Jail missionaries just do it with without pay. And so ends my whine.

21 September, 2020

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