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No More Doom and Gloom

April 25, 2012

This post is mostly for my American readers in hopes of bringing a different perspective to the sense of doom and gloom which pervades the United States. For my readers of other nationalities, here is a chance to focus on the good in America, not merely the mistakes highlighted by the global media.

The demise of Christianity in America is overstated.

If I take my cues from Facebook, Twitter, and the news reports I receive while overseas, one would assume American Christianity is going down the toilet.

Believers are a in virtual terror at the thought of the political party they support not winning. Claims of the moral decline of America clog the internet’s social media channels. I could easily assume I would be setting foot into a reincarnated Sodom and Gomorrah upon returning.

Yet, to the amateur eye, I saw a different perspective on the level of faith in the United States recently.

“Missionaries could more effectively minister the gospel if they did not think they were superior to us”.

These words come from Duane Elmer, when he interviewed countless people on the field, asking them about the experiences they’ve had with missionaries.

The longer I am in missions, the more I gain a sensitivity to this perceived sense of superiority. It is not intended, but it is the message we often communicate.

I hear it with new, zealous missionaries who are convinced they have something to offer the poor helpless souls of such and such nation.

If I am honest, I still hear it from my own mouth after twenty plus years.

Well meaning, willing to serve; of course
But dripping with an unintended superiority complex; yes

I am re-reading Duane Elmer’s Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility . It is hands down the best missionary leadership book I have ever read.