In this message from the “GO 2013” missionary conference, Jackie Pullinger speaks of the urgent necessity for Christians who will love those in need for “the long haul.” Too often, missionary trips are reduced to 6 months or even 2 weeks. We say, “Praise God, 58 people came to the Lord!” Or, “Praise God, this young woman was rescued for sex trafficking.” But then the missionaries leave, and who is going to help the new believers?
Pullinger explains that these short-term trips, as well as results-oriented missions work, comes out of a self-centered focus on missions. But if we’re going to win the lost to Jesus, we have to move from selfishness to others. Because Jesus loves us, we love others–regardless of what they say or do to us.
New converts are like children. They need love in order to grow up in Jesus. And they need to be trained to heal the sick, love and help the poor, and cast out demons. Instead of having one “anointed” leader, every Christian in the church must receive the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power for service.
For this reason, Pullinger’s ministry welcomes new converts into homes for two years. Likewise, Christian helpers in the homes make a minimum 2-year commitment to serve.
Jesus didn’t say, “Make a difference.” He said, “Make disciples,” and this requires time. Praise God, whatever your age, there is a place for you in this work!