Yes, it’s true, often missions advocates, missions mobilizers like ourselves perceive ourselves as the mission expert. We’re going to help people get a clue about what God is doing in the nations all the many opportunities and needs and how they should be responding. And yet, at times, that can turn people’s hearts and minds off a bit, because really most of us don’t like to be told what to do.
“If you feed a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. We’ve discovered that giving advice and solutions is kind of like giving fish, it just gives a solution for that moment for that situation.
So perhaps there’s real wisdom in moving away from that role of expert and moving more toward the role of listener, learner, and coach, right? Rather than compulsively just giving advice, we actually slow down and listen, and ask questions and help people discern what God is asking of them so they can own it going forward. And this is the real power of this approach, it’s the power of asking questions… Right? You might remember the community development principle that goes like this, “If you feed a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. We’ve discovered that giving advice and solutions is kind of like giving fish it just gives a solution for that moment for that situation. But if we teach people and give them the opportunity to discern what God is doing they develop the capacity and the ownership to take that going forward into the future.
So let’s continue, as missions advocates to slow down, learn to ask questions. Trust that the Holy Spirit is a better mobilizer than we are, and allow people the dignity of owning… discovering and owning what God is saying about their role in the Great Commission.