Be Patient, Missions Is Urgent

Josh Manley | February 15, 2017

Our day is one of instant gratification. The slogan “Your way, right away” has seeped beyond fast food into most of our thinking. Whether it’s advancing technology or the general zeitgeist of our times, instant gratification affects the church as well. 

As a pastor who has lived in the United Arab Emirates for four years, I’ve become familiar with different missions organizations, movements, and philosophies. What’s generally true across the board is a deep desire to see the gospel go forward and Jesus Christ made known. What concerns me is the way speed and quickness get elevated as virtues and dominate missions thinking. 

The gospel is eternally serious business, inextricably tied to the glory of God and the destinies of real people. Given the stakes, there has been a good and right recovery of the urgent task to see the gospel go to the world’s hardest places and least-reached peoples. And yet if we’re not careful, I fear we will wrongly identify urgency with speed, failing to remember that a task can be urgent and yet demand a slow, methodical approach that thinks in years and decades instead of days and months. 

Simply put, the church desperately needs to recover categories for both urgency and patience in missions. Spreading the gospel is urgent, but it demands men and women with…

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