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“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.