Thursday, February 28, 2013

How NOT to be encouraged at a missions conference

Here are some sure-fire ways to NOT be encouraged at a missions conference:
  1. Compare your materials, displays, website, family size, character or fundraising status with those of the other missionaries.
  2. Wonder if there will be enough room for everyone to gather around your table at once.
  3. Bring an extra ream of paper in case your newsletter sign-up lists get filled up.
  4. Come ready to thank the pastor for his intimate knowledge of your kids names, hobbies and/or daily responsibilities.
  5. Wait eagerly for people to dump money into your lap.
  6. Live-tweet the event so your followers needn't be in suspense.
  7. Spend the whole time behind a table rather than engaging people.
  8. Expect to hear only fully contextualized and insightful Biblical encouragement as though they were spoken by Solomon himself.
  9. Ask the missions chair whether you'll be the main speaker today or tomorrow.
Alternatively... here are a couple verses worth meditating on to help counter the list above:
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:2)
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)