Missed Call: Where are the Men in Missions?

strong man overseas watching sunset

Can't find your wife? Maybe she's busy serving God.

I still remember the phone call like it was yesterday. It was a cold winter’s day in a small town near the frozen waters of Lake Michigan. I was in the second semester of my junior year of university.

 

Prior to school, I had spent about 2 years serving God on short-term mission trips to places such as Peru, Mexico, Argentina, China, Africa, and Hong Kong. I had also done a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) during that time.

 

Now, here I was, almost 5 years removed from high school, striving to make the Dean’s List, working odd jobs, and not intentionally living out the “calling” I believed Jesus had for my life.

 

My girlfriend, Rachel (who would later become my wife), had just wrapped up the outreach phase of her own Discipleship Training School with YWAM Orlando. She had been serving the Lord in India along with the rest of her school. On two different occasions of the outreach, she had been hospitalized due to sickness, unsure of how bad the symptoms were. I thought nothing of it until the day she called from Amsterdam. Up to this point, we had not had any communication except for one call she made from a pay phone in India (mind you, this was before smartphones, Snap Chat, and Mark Zuckerberg). During the Amsterdam call, she made a comment I’ll never forget: “After my second stay in the hospital, my outreach leaders told me that I could go home and come back in the future to finish my outreach. But I told them NO, [and pressed through in completing my outreach].”

 

Are you kidding me?! Who is this girl? It had been 9 weeks since I had last seen her. With all the transformation in her life, perhaps the better question was who is this woman?

 

An overview of the Discipleship Training School at YWAM Orlando.

 

man walking through alley in nepalgarrett-sears-97878.jpg 2I thought she needed me. I thought she was dependent on me and that I was her everything. But I wasn’t. This woman had been with God and was obeying God with a burning & never-ending zeal in her heart. As one writer puts it: “She wasn’t looking for a knight, she was looking for a sword.” [1] Rachel wasn’t looking for me or any other man to be the answer; she was responding to God and being the answer to her own prayers of seeing the Great Commission fulfilled.

 

Now that I saw who she had become, it left me with a very clear choice. Would I keep just existing and follow the path of least resistance, or would I get back on the path of pursuing God’s destiny over my life?

 

I chose the latter. And I'm so glad I did.

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back, because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” Mark Anthony

 

Dana Robert argues, “The current demographic shift in world Christianity should be analyzed as a women’s movement.” [2] Some research shows that 2/3 of all missionaries in the world are women. Women are giving their lives in some of the hardest and darkest places in the world. Women are the leading catalysts for rallying families and churches to adopt and foster children who do not have a family of their own. Women are learning second languages and stepping into cultures where they are the minority.

 

Some would say that “culture is the most influential force on the planet.” I would beg to differ; I believe that women have the potential to play that role. Think about Queen Esther in the Bible. Was she destined for that role from the foundations of the earth just because? Or did God destine her because He knew none of the dudes were going to step up and oppose evil at that time? How about another woman in the Bible that we read about in the book of Judges? Deborah, known as “a mother in Israel,” who gave a prophetic revelation to a man named Barak. It stirred him up so much that he rose up and led his troops into battle. When he did, the Lord aided them supernaturally to bring about victory. But Deborah (the woman) was the voice that influenced the man. [3]

 

man playing soccer on missions tripWe can also look outside of the Bible to find women of influence. How about Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights activist who refused to give her seat to a white man? It influenced people of Montgomery, Alabama into a city-wide boycott, and was ultimately the catalyst for Montgomery to lift its law of segregation on busses. How about Mother Theresa, the missionary to Calcutta, India? “The number of sisters in her religious order, only 62 in 1957, grew enormously. By the time Mother Teresa won the Nobel Prize, her order had attracted 1,800 nuns and 120,000 lay workers, running more than 80 centers in India and more than 100 others around the world. The order's patients included 53,000 lepers.” [4] All that is just a trickle of her influence on the world!

 

I love this quote by Mark Anthony, “And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back, because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” [5] This is what is happening in the world of missions. Woman are leading us in the Great Commission, in obeying the final words of Jesus.

So here's my message to men - man to man.

man throwing boy in the air playingSo often, we chase things that lead us away from our design. We chase financial security, many times convincing ourselves that we will obey God when we have saved up enough money. We want everyone to see that we are smart and intelligent and that we have it all together. And I get that. I went to university. I love education. But sometimes we get distracted and pulled into good things, instead of the best things; instead of obedience. We need to avoid the potential trap of having the mindset that if everything is structured, perfect, and ordered, then we are doing good for God. Sometimes obedience is messy, painful, and it costs you everything. You must let go of your kingdom, in order to advance God’s Kingdom. “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” [6]

The men in missions are missing, but let that not be true any longer! Women have had to compensate for our passivity for too long. “Rise up; this matter is in your hands…take courage and do it.". [7]

Men, now is the time. The Great Commission is in your hands. Going to the nations and the spheres of society is in your hands. Saving the lost is in your hands. Now is the time! Take courage and do it because God is with you!

Questions?

Want to know more about taking that first step into missions? We would love to answer your questions and pray for you.


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Written By:

Andy Miller | YWAM Orlando Staff

Andy, his wife Rachel and their three boys are now pioneering YWAM New York City and is serving full time on Manhatten.

Footnotes

1. Atticus. Quote (Pinterest)

2. Robert. “World Christianity as a Women’s Movement,” 180.

3. Brian Brennt. Brave Love manual

4. Eric Pace. “Mother Teresa, Hope of the Despairing, Dies at 87” [New York Times on The Web]

5. Mark Anthony. Quote (Pinterest)

6.Jesus. Matthew 16:24 (ESV)

7. Ezra 10:4