Thursday, August 06, 2015

A Cross Cultural Covenant... Stopping short term mission team disaster before it strikes!

Rod Fry in Oaxaca with my Men's Ministry last February
One of the hardest things for people serving cross-culturally is giving up the comforts of home. That’s true if you go for a week, a month, or years. There is just something about having things your way that causes us to struggle when we are faced with something that changes that reality.

Recently I was in Mexico City with Rod Fry, a 20-year Missionary there with Mexico Matters. We work together on a program called missionXchange where people come to Mexico for 6 weeks alongside both our ministries. Rod’s in Mexico City and Adventures in Life in Oaxaca.

As part of our orientation, we touched on the subject of our “right” to have things as we want them. We included them in a Cross-Cultural Covenant that Rod developed. Everyone who serves with us reads and agrees to follow the covenant their time here in Mexico.

Today I’m going to share part of that Covenant. It has been my experience that if someone going "over there" can get, or understand this, their time serving will be much more effective and rewarding. It can even save your mission and ministry by heading off difficult issues before you ever get on a plane. And, it gives you a basis for resolving the inevitable conflicts that arise when you are in a foreign place.

Thanks Rod for all of your work on this!

Cross Cultural Covenant

We live in world full of rights. Our particular culture is one where we take pride in rights. As a matter of fact, the rights of the individual are constitutional, but as we see the demanding of those individual rights increase, we are seeing the moral fiber of our society decrease. Jesus laid down his rights to the heavens and all his glory to become man and serve, not be served. 

We are asking you to consider laying down your rights on this short-term mission. Not to lay them down for better or worse, but to entrust them to Jesus. While many of these rights may seem reasonable, indeed, who can argue about a comfortable bed, on short-term mission, they can become an unnecessary distraction.

Please take the time to search your heart and consider this… are you willing to surrender your rights to God?

I Give Up My Right To:

  • A comfortable bed
  • Three meals a day on a set schedule
  • Eating familiar food
  • Dressing cool and fashionable
  • Seeing the results and fruits of my labor
  • Control what I do
  • Control what others do
  • Control the circumstances around me
  • Have pleasant circumstances around me
  • Make decisions about all that I am doing
  • Be offended
  • Be successful
  • Be understood
  • Be heard
  • Be right, or correct
  • To worry

I Will Entrust To God

  • My strength and energy
  • My health and hygiene
  • My likes and dislikes of food
  • My security in him
  • His purposes, results and fruit in His time
  • My need for the Holy Spirit
  • His work in others
  • His purposes in making me more Christlike
  • The privilege of suffering for His sake
  • His sovereign hand on my life
  • My deepest needs
  • My security in His love
  • My reputation
  • My need for recognition
  • My need for His righteousness
  • Divine Control
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