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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Not Yet

God called me to missions in Western Europe by giving me a vision for what He could (would?) do among the people here. I was excited about being part of God's interaction with the postmodern, postchristian people of Europe. I really believed that God was going to start a church planting movement here, and I trusted that He was going to use me to somehow be part of that. That certainty of calling and purpose is what has kept me on the field.

But something is bothering me.

We still haven't seen it. Despite our efforts, prayers, and desires, we have yet to see God move in the ways we envisioned years ago. No city-wide house church networks. No major unity movements among the believers here. Years of studying the language and culture, sowing the gospel, building relationships, and speaking truth into people's lives hasn't produced the kind of fruit I thought we were called to.

Don't get me wrong; I know that the work isn't something that we do, and that God will do His will in His sovereign timing. Please don't remind me of William Carey or Adoniram Judson. I'm not discouraged about the number of people who are being saved.

I've spent months in introspective prayer and meditation, asking God if there might be sin in my life, or if my actions might be disqualifying me from His service. I'm begging Him to use me. I'm open to whatever He has for us.

I guess I'm just a little disappointed, that's all.


pecheur said...

Well titled, "Not yet".

CharlieMac said...

I like your choice for your name and blog name. It says a lot about a lot. I just wanted to make one comment.
Show me any Christian who claims they are not now or ever have been discouraged and I will show you a Christian who is not committed to Christ.
May God bless you and your work today, this week, month, year, and ever, even though it may be silently!
Charlie Mac
Semmes, Alabama

Watchman said...


Is it possible that God would give us a vision for what could be, give us a strong sense of calling to be a part of that vision, so much so that we reorient our entire lives around that vision, only to never allow us to see it come to pass?

I remember Bill Bright saying that God told him he would see revival among college students, but then the poor man died, and as far as I can tell, it never happened as he described.

I used to think that God wanted me to be a part of an awakening on our college campus, but I didn't see anything even come close to what I thought would happen.

So did I just miss something, or could Bill and I have heard it right, regardless?

stepchild said...

Thanks for the encouraging words.

I think it is entirely possible that God could give us a vision for what He can do, and then for Him to (for whatever reason) not allow us to see it happen.

It's quite possible. And selfishly, I find it discouraging, frustrating, and disappointing.

GuyMuse said...

Great post that touches on something that many M's are currently dealing with in their own ministries. Thanks for your transparency. I have taken the liberty of reprinting your words as a cpf post. Hope you don't mind.

Camel said...

Great post. Last night I got out of my car and walked by house after house of people who don't have any idea who Jesus is. Our team has been in place for around 6 years and we have a handful of believers. I appreciate your honesty and transparency.

In our pre-field training we're taught class after class on CPM but only one session on the the left side of the curve.....the truth is most of will only minister on the left side of the curve (for non-IMB people that would be prior to a Church planting movement.)

stepchild said...

I'm always happy to hear about people discussing what I've written about here. I'll look into participating in the forum discussion.

Chris Irwin said...

I appreciate your comments and willingness to be transparent to a certain degree. I've spent the last 15 years in a very receptive field and have seen several churches planted. Indeed, in our city you can't find a neighborhood without a church anymore!

So we have made the decision to relocate to Spain next year. Now I sit back and wonder how I will handle living and working in a less-than-receptive field. How will I handle not seeing quick and visible results of my labors? If I have struggled so much with being a happy missionary here, how will I deal with it there?

But "there" calls all the same. Again, thanks for sharing.