This is the final installment of a four-part series about church planting teams working among unreached tribes. Former 20-year tribal missionary Brad Buser (Papua New Guinea) shared these twenty practical tips with his Cross-Cultural Church Planting class at The Master’s College in 2004. Here are Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
16. You’re not asked, expected, or called to be heroes or “the best missionaries PNG ever saw” — just faithful men doing the best you can. The people may not respond! Do not minimize your part yet don’t look on the whole work there as a reflection of who you are. Ultimately it’s God’s work. Hold the times of glory lightly, and don’t let the setbacks, hard hearts, or financially lean times make you doubt that God’s put you there.
17. Do you have an eye to paving your way? Are you looking for “deals” at other people’s expense? Do others always have to pick up the $$ slack for you?
18. Are you committed to your partners, or to the tribe He has sent you to? Obviously, we are committed to the Lord Jesus first and foremost. But how tied are you to your partnership criteria? Partners, unfortunately, change too frequently. Our vision needs to be broader than the age, kids, and home-country similarities we may or may not have. Are you in your tribal situation long-term even if your partner leaves?
19. Are you aware of emotional baggage you may be bringing to the field? Past sexual experiences? Abuse? Rape? Depression? Horrific experiences? Car crashes? Sudden deaths? Are you past those things? Have you left them or are they “reasons” for others to have to carry your weight in a team situation?
20. Do you have a clock running in your head already? Are you here to spend ___ amount of years… or to see a church established and functioning? What about your kids graduating? What about your kids heading back to the USA? How about grandkids? Do you have a timeline in place that might run out before the work is really done?