There is a little lie going around to every man that dares to think of stepping into the missions world. A little lie that Satan has been exploiting for generations against men who seek to renounce an ordinary life, and step into the daunting world of missions. A lie that has unnoticeably claimed power over the lives of many Christian men, attempting to grasp them back from claiming the powerful leadership positions that the Lord has called them for. The lie? “You can NEVER be a good provider for your family if you step into the missions world.” The perfect lie that attacks a key identity characteristic that the Lord has given men- the desire to be a provider. Even churches can hold back men from stepping into full-time missions, telling them that they are required to be providers. So, should a man renounce the world of missions to be a provider? To answer this question, I would like to take a look at five key truths from missions-minded men.
1. God Provides for those who Follow His CommandsGod’s command to go into the world and proclaim the gospel provides His enabling. He is the enabler, as the vine and we are the branches. The scriptures tell us that God himself will supply all our needs according to His rich resources in Christ, and God can also decide how He wants to supply those needs. He can choose to provide through prayer and only looking to Him for provision like He did for me and my family during the 16 years we ministered in Brazil. He can also call us to rise up teams of prayer and financial support as He did for us in our last 2 years in Brazil. The Lord had shown us that was what He wanted us to do, and He was who chose who would support us. Now, for the last 24 years with Bethany, God has used supporters to provide for all our teaching and ministry trips overseas, and for our daily income needs, He has supplied our needs through both supporters and income from our work here at Bethany. God will always provide, but He will also always determine how. Advice from Ed Dudek, BGU Faculty.
2. The Scriptures Call Us to MissionsWhether it’s overseas or in your home country, preaching the gospel is everything. Before God called me into missions, it seemed like a waste of time. It didn’t seem like it was my calling. That was when God took me to court, and what I mean by that is God, knowing that I am a very logical person, presented His case before me proving that missions was the way to go. I had asked God, ‘Is this truly what I’m supposed to do?’ and as I began to read the Bible and fast, God began to show me His heart for missions and His heart for others. In the scriptures, we constantly see a call to missions. The disciples went out two by two, we see God make the statement that the harvest is plentiful, Jesus tells us, ‘As the Father sent me, I am sending you.’ He himself was a missionary. When you take a look throughout the Bible, being called into missions becomes the most logical way to go. As a man, you will face a lot of opposition. People telling you, ‘Go get a degree and a real job. Provide.’ But Christ comes first. As John Piper put it, ‘treasuring our lives over Christ is a tragedy.’ Take a step in faith and just do it, and remember that in the end, the ultimate goal of Missions is that God might be glorified. Advice from Logan, BGU Freshman.
3. We are Called to Live a Faith LifestyleHistorically, families have always cared for families, the concept of a man being the primary provider is relatively new. Looking back to the agrarian lifestyle, everyone worked together- the man, the wife, and the children. There is a false idea that says if a man can’t provide EVERYTHING for His wife and kids He is failing. Fear and pride are two things holding men back from embracing a lifestyle of faith. The spirit of ‘independence’ that you see today is not healthy or biblical. If you are serious about your calling, you HAVE to be committed to a lifestyle of faith. You are not doing something that provides a steady wage or salary, and you have to be able to accept that as truth. Whether you become a missionary or not, I believe that as a Christian you have to accept the idea of a lifestyle of faith. Are you willing to trust God with all your finances, or put your hopes the western idea of financial security? Advice from Steve Eliason, BGU Faculty.
4. It’s not about the MoneyIt can be hard for men to get support for missions. I was not fully supported by my family and church. People would tell me, ‘men need to provide, they need an actual job’, but you can provide and do missions. God is our provider and He has provided to me. A question to ask ourselves is, ‘why is being a provider such a crucial part of what I want?’ Do you believe that God would provide for you if missions is what He has put in your heart? I had to go from having a full-time job, to learning to trust God with everything, but it’s not about the money, or what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s about what God calls us to. Advice from Colby, BGU Freshman.
5. It’s not about the Right CareerOne of the lies that come with being a man in ministry is that you won’t be able to ever fully achieve supporting your family. You see other people do it so well in corporate jobs that it makes you think you’ve chosen the wrong career. But you have to remind yourself why you’re doing this and that the Lord will take care of all your worries and you just have to passionately lean into that. In the end, it’s not about that. It’s about giving the glory to God. Advice from Thomas, BGU Freshman.
Men, this is a call to you. You are needed on the field, and the Lord has an established plan for you as His warriors to go forth and be leaders. Will you step up to the challenge and trust that God will provide and guide you every step of the way? “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28: 19-20.