Tag Archives: Michael Simmelink

A Pioneer’s Journey

The story of Jack Taylor’s faith as he went from new kid on campus to national storyline

BY MICHAEL SIMMELINK

Jack Taylor found out firsthand what it’s like to receive unexpected fame as a college student. He put on his on No. 24 jersey for the Grinnell Pioneers on November 20, 2012 and scored 138 points in a basketball game. And people lost their minds.

“Put Up a Number”

You haven’t seen a style of basketball like “The System.” And before you can understand what Taylor did, you need to understand the context in which he did it. The warm-up shirts for this year’s Pioneer squad read, “Put Up a Number.” That symbolizes the attitude Coach Dave Arseneault, Sr. has for the team. If the Pioneers can meet certain statistical benchmarks, including shots taken and turnovers forced, the statistics say they have an extremely high chance of winning.

It was developed by Arseneault, (you can call him Coach A) in the late 80s. He took over a Grinnell program that hadn’t had a winning season in 25 years. He took the run-and-gun style of Paul Westhead’s Loyola Marymount teams to a whole new level – one that has resulted in Grinnell leading all of college basketball in scoring 17 out of the last 19 seasons.

Arseneault’s system involves rotating a fresh five players approximately every minute. They employ a full-court press all game. The three-point attempt is the golden egg of the system; the more attempts the better. Offensive rebounding is vitally important, and any board grabbed is sent back out for another three-point attempt. Ideally that attempt would be from the player who just missed the previous shot. Because of course it is. There’s a lot more to it, and FOX Sports Live has a video that can enlighten you further.

The System has standards that are appealing to any young basketball player, especially one like Taylor, who thrives on the offensive end of the court. Coach A plays his full 15-man roster equal minutes and encourages players to shoot the ball as much as possible. What’s not to like? Who doesn’t want to try this? Why did I use my collegiate eligibility playing jayvee soccer?

It took a while for Taylor to warm up to Grinnell. He turned down a scholarship there once after high school and once after a year in prep school. After attending the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse for a year, Taylor looked to move on once again for school in 2012-2013. Coach A wasn’t interested in being led on again, so he let his son/assistant coach Dave Arseneault, Jr. deal with throwing the bait to Taylor another time. “The third time he made it known Grinnell would be a possibility for him, I told my son he could recruit him if he wanted to,” Coach A said. “But I would not. I guess my son is a better recruiter than I am.”

“Basketball wise, I knew I made the right decision,” Taylor said. “Being an offensive player, creating [scoring chances] off my dribble, I knew I could get fit in the System.”

The Night

Taylor did indeed fit into the system, and that was no more evident than the game two nights before Thanksgiving in 2012. The season was young, but Taylor was “shooting poorly” and in a scoring nose-dive. With an obviously outmatched opponent, Faith Baptist Bible College, next on the schedule, Taylor was given the green light to shoot out of his slump.

So Taylor put the ball up. Again, and again, and again, and again. By the end of the night, Taylor had scored 138 points on 52-for-108 shooting. He was 27-for-71 from three-point range alone. Eighty of those points came in the second half. He shot the ball every 20 seconds. He scored 28 consecutive points for the Pioneers. Do you even have the ability to contemplate what those numbers mean?

ESPN interviewed him that night. He made an appearance on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! the following day. Taylor was no longer anonymous; he was the topic of discussion in every form of media. One day he was a transfer-happy guard living in obscurity in the cornfields of Iowa, the next LeBron James wants a copy of the game footage. How does someone move forward from that point? What else could possibly be accomplished on the hardwood?

Taylor gave his best attempt to remain humble in the face of newfound fame. He plugged his faith in interviews at every chance, but the national stations never aired those segments. Taylor still came off as a good kid, constantly thanking his teammates and coaches in the ESPN interview he gave that night. A Christian though? No one would have known it thanks to big network editing.
The sheer quantity and scale of the interviews could have been intimidating for Taylor, but he was ready, or at least as ready as a college student can be for national attention.

“I wasn’t scared,” Taylor said. “I had been praying and asking God that if I got that opportunity, that I would use that platform for his glory, and not my own.” He admitted it was “hard to remain humble,” but the way he deflected praise in interviews drew the eyes of fellow Christians around Grinnell’s campus.

“By the end of the night, Taylor had scored 138 points on 52-for-108 shooting. He was 27-for-71 from three-point range alone. Eighty of those points came in the second half. He shot the ball every 20 seconds. He scored 28 consecutive points for the Pioneers. Do you even have the ability to contemplate what those numbers mean?”

Long before Taylor was the one turning heads on campus, he had to have his eyes set a different direction.

Running in transition

Basketball was the easy part. From an academic and spiritual perspective, Taylor was unsure about what Grinnell held for him. According to U.S. News and World Report, the school is known to be one of the top liberal arts schools in the nation. Taylor would receive no special treatment as an athlete. As a member of NCAA Division III, athletic scholarships are not allowed to be awarded at Grinnell.

The school is also known for being noticeably liberal in comparison to the private colleges surrounding it. Many of the students are not religious in any sense, even fewer actively practice a faith at all. Taylor was a relatively new Christian when he arrived on Grinnell’s campus. He had only become a committed follower of Christ about a year earlier when a teammate at his prep school shared the Gospel in such a way that it clicked for Taylor. He had gone to church as a kid, but it hadn’t really taken root in his life.

“I was partying, cheating on my girlfriend, really just living for myself and the game of basketball,” Taylor said. “I realized basketball had become an idol for me.”

Taylor had a conversion in the radical sense that the old self had passed away. He chose to take the experience of his past with him, but the verve of parties and thrill of new girls no longer brings him the energy it used to. That girlfriend he cheated on? They worked through it together and are tying the knot this summer.

Spreading the floor and spreading the Gospel

It could be easy to expect Taylor to split Grinnell’s campus into two sides, an “us-versus-them” mentality. The Christians being pictured as the few who must remove themselves from the negative influence of secular higher education. It’s the fear of turning into “one of them.” He doesn’t fall victim for that imagery. Mission trips over breaks and the summer don’t interest him because he sees the need to “reach the lost” on campus.

“There’s a lot of people here looking for love and looking for acceptance,” Taylor said. “It’s really challenged me to share the Gospel in a loving and accurate way.”

Taylor believed that most of the Bible studies offered on Grinnell’s campus “weren’t biblical. They looked at it through their own lens, how they wanted to see it.” This meant that instead of looking at Scripture and adjusting their lives as the Spirit lead; they chose to adjust Scripture to how they had been living. So Taylor started his own Bible study. Today, about 30 men are involved in a group called “Legacy,” which has been a chance for connection and accountability amongst the Christian males on campus.

“Legacy is a place to gather and worship and meet people that you may otherwise not have known, or not have known they were Christian,” said Morgan Kinsinger, a member of Legacy. The senior was a captain on Grinnell’s football team the past two seasons and was asked by Taylor to be a part of the Bible study. “Going to a secular school it can be difficult finding like-minded individuals, and in a tough academic environment it’s easy to push my faith to the side,” Kinsinger said.

What Taylor has helped form is a place for Christian males to gather and deal with the specific problems that face them in their outnumbered position on Grinnell’s campus.

“There’s a lot of people here looking for love and looking for acceptance,” Taylor said. “It’s really challenged me to share the Gospel in a loving and accurate way.”

A career in basketball is still an option for Taylor after graduation. He’s hoping to play overseas for a few years before untying the sneakers and putting on scrubs at medical school. He can see himself returning to Black River Falls, Wisc., the place he calls home.

“I’d like to use my platform back home . . . because our society really values sports and that gives me an opportunity,” Taylor said. “I’d like to be able to work with youth who might be living like I was. I’ll use this platform as long as God allows me.”

It is anyone’s guess how long Taylor’s record will stand. All it takes is one coach finding an overmatched opponent and a player with a hot hand, and Taylor may find himself in second place. Will people still care about the message he is sharing? When will his name fall into the pot of forgotten facts used on Stump the Schwab? Should any of that matter? The refreshing vein in this story is that Taylor believes he can have significance for spreading the Gospel outside what he has done on the basketball court. But he’s certainly not rejecting the opportunities draining three-balls has provided, and isn’t looking for that to stop anytime soon.

And maybe that’s what the other 98 percent of college students who will never be famous need to take away from Jack Taylor. Whether it’s a corner 3 or a conversation on the Gospel, the most important thing you can do is take your shot.

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Why I dress up for church

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Photo cred: bendthelight.com

BY MICHAEL SIMMELINK

I was raised in a conservative Lutheran church in a Midwestern town. It was expected that my sister and I dressed up to attend church. It didn’t have to be suit and tie, but there were a few simple rules we had to follow. No tennis shoes with slacks. No jeans. No t-shirts. A collar was preferred. My sister wore dresses or skirts a fair amount. She wore earrings like my mom, and I had a couple clip-on ties to be like my dad.

Then we moved to another town. Our new church had less suits and more jeans. Some of my friends would show up to church in t-shirts and ragged shorts. My parents felt the pressure and let me get on the “causal-wear” bandwagon. I used all the well-worn excuses. “It’s about what’s on the inside, not the outside; I don’t want to be materialistic; I should be able to worship in what’s comfortable.”

I realized that as my dress for church got lazier, so did my attitude on worship. I stopped taking notes on sermons. I seemed to misplace my Bible more often. More casual dress was supposed to make my worship experience more intimate, but I was simply checking out.

I found there’s something sacred in the preparation of getting ready to go to church. Maybe nostalgia has more to do with that than anything. But when you spend a little more time in the shower, make sure you didn’t miss any spots shaving, and choose to wear the best clothes you got, it means something.

When I’ve visited Haiti and had the opportunity to worship there, it’s a far cry from our evangelical circles. People who feed families off ten dollars a week come dressed up in suit and tie, flowing dresses, polished shoes, and ornamental hats. Church is a big deal to them. They know they’re entering the presence of the Lord in his house, so you give your best effort as a result. A lot of kids take their only bath of the week on Sunday morning.

But when you spend a little more time in the shower, make sure you didn’t miss any spots shaving, and choose to wear the best clothes you got, it means something.

I think they’re onto something. What we wear to church isn’t about our comfort or what “works” for us. We’re entering into the house of the Lord. We could stand to have our worship services look a little more like the veneration before the throne of God in Revelation 7, or the reverence of Levite priests in Leviticus 16. Jewish rabbis often use the phrase, “know before whom you stand.” Dress is a part of that, and we could stand to remember that more often.

 

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Four ways to get the most out of reading your Bible

By: Michael Simmelink

How many Christians have you met that are satisfied with the time they spend reading the Bible? My guess is a miniscule percentage. Perhaps it’s even zero. It’s a tough thing to get into the Word on a daily basis, but there aren’t enough excuses in the world to make us think it isn’t necessary to healthy spiritual growth. My goal here is not to suggest what plan to follow as you read through the Bible. There’s plenty of resources out there for that. You can follow the link here and also here to check out the various ways to explore all of God’s Word. That means even Numbers and Song of Songs for all you who think the Old Testament isn’t important – you best be checking yourself.

1. Print out a plan and follow it

“But I think God speaks to me better when I just open my Bible to a random page and start reading!” Yes, sometimes God chooses to speak to people by popping out certain parts of Scripture, i.e., Martin Luther and Saint Augustine. However, it’s much more likely that you’ll stick with something if it’s written out and planned ahead. It will let you know when you’re on schedule and inevitably fall behind. Most good plans have a grace days spaced out.

2. Get accountable

It seems like everyone wants you to have an accountability partner for everything. Someone to keep you accountable for working out. Someone to keep you accountable with lust. Homework, swearing, drinking in moderation, the list can grow and grow. But it’s entirely true that these things are easier when you’re not doing it alone, so don’t make it harder than it already is. Find a friend and start on the same reading plan. Text each other questions to see if the reading has been done.

3. Set a time

Saying you’ll find time to read the Bible will not last. It just doesn’t. Set aside time in your schedule to make sure you can open the Good Book. It doesn’t have to be daily at 5 a.m., but force yourself to make the time in your schedule. After practice on Monday. In between class and lunch on Thursday. Before work on Saturday. Let your accountability partner know so they can text you at the appropriate times.

4. Have a reason to think as you read

Give yourself some questions to think about as you read each day. Steve Addison writes in “What Jesus Started” about a friend who always asked four questions of any section of Scripture: What does this teach us about God? What does this teach us about humanity? Is there a command to obey? Is there an example to follow? Simple, general, but thought-provoking and action-based questions like these give you something to think about and take away.

What consistent Scripture reading comes down to is a commitment as an individual. No one can make you be disciplined, but hopefully these tips increase your eyes’ time between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.

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“Rivers” runs simpler for NEEDTOBREATHE

NEEDTOBREATHE

NEEDTOBREATHE

By: Michael Simmelink

With more anticipation than ever before, NEEDTOBREATHE has released “Rivers in the Wasteland,” their fifth studio album. The guys have spent the better part of the last three years touring almost nonstop, making appearances at Bonnaroo and opening for Taylor Swift on her North American tour. 2011’s “The Reckoning” put NEEDTORBEATHE on the radar as a unique mix of gospel, bluegrass, country, and rock-n-roll that mainstream radio, Christian or secular, hadn’t given ear to.

Such a fast moving ascension to nationwide fame did not come without a price for the South Carolina natives. Through interviews with Billboard and RELEVANT magazine, the band revealed that the growth in popularity became overwhelming. Long beloved for their down-to-earth, home-grown material, the group had lost sight of their roots. Therefore, “Rivers in the Wasteland” is an album about removal of stuff that had gotten in the way. The record as whole is just so much less than “The Reckoning.” The sound isn’t as big. The songs have less instrumentation. Eleven tracks are the smallest number put on an album since 2006’s opening release, “Daylight.”

Yet it might be the tightest album NEEDTOBREATHE has put together. All four of their other records had themes or motifs, but there wasn’t necessarily a flow or reason for why songs we put in a certain order. “Rivers” is best heard with the shuffle button off. It is a record that is reflective on what the band has gone through in the past year and a half, according to lead singer Bear Rinehart in the album’s commentary. One needs to start with the opening and track “Wasteland” to understand that band was in a place of darkness and aridness. There are hints of the arena-rock feel of “The Reckoning” within the track, but it is only meant to set the stage of what is to come.

The album is split almost in half with what could be considered the wasteland portion versus the river portion. “State I’m In” and “Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now” are solid southern rock jams that keep the wasteland from feeling depressing, but Rinehart’s lyrics foreshadow something better on the way. “Oh, Carolina” is an obvious ode to home that features some of the best harmonies on the album. It’s seems like a song you’d strum on the family six-string on a porch on a summer night. I don’t know if that’s something anybody actually does, but the song evokes a hope within that it happens somewhere.

Transition finds the record in the middle with “Difference Maker” and “Rise Again.” The former very well might go down as everyone’s favorite off the album. The lyrical make-up of the song makes it extremely personal for the listener. You may not be able to relate with many of the hardships of touring in a band, but you can definitely find a connection with the struggle to realize your purpose and value in the world. The instrumentation is quite repetitive and simple, but by the last verse, it becomes hard to plainly sing along with lyrics like, “We are all transgressors, we’re all sinners, we’re all astronauts / So if you’re beating death then raise your hand, but shut up if you’re not.” Those words don’t get sung except through gritted teeth.

As the river section begins to emerge, listeners find “The Heart.” It’s currently the most prominent single from the record. Classic NEEDTOBREATHE. A track full of swinging southern rock catalyzed by catchy chorus and Bear’s gritty vocals somehow reaching a full octave higher than it should. Instrumentally, it’s one of the more complex tracks on the album.

Near the end, a listener may be tempted to pass lightly over “Brother.” I have a reoccurring nightmare this song will be tragically overlooked on the album, one of the many similarities it shares with “Preacher” off OneRepublic’s 2013 release, “Natives.” Bear and Bo Rinehart very rarely make it obvious in their music that they are, in fact, brothers, but it doesn’t get more blatant than this. The usual route to take on songs like this is a simple guitar as the siblings’ duet. Thankfully, the Rinehart boys put a little more thought into it. A choir-backed chorus and piano-centered beat makes the song more like an Elton John classic than you’d ever guess. I give it the nod as my personal favorite on the album.

On the whole, NEEDTOBREATHE went simpler in almost every way on this– instrumentally, in quantity, theologically. But it’s what we needed from them. For them to make something bigger and continue expanding like “The Outsiders” and “The Reckoning” would have taken away what was likeable about them in the first place. This release is well-worth the money and time for fans who have been with NEEDTOBREATHE for a while, and could potentially garner new ones along the way.

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Look at the Lyrics: Above All

By: Michael Simmelink

The lyrics to our praise songs matter. They put the words in our mouth to describe God. Who He is, what He’s done, how we react are all depicted in song. Christians need to take this seriously and start thinking about what we’re singing. Does it line up with Scripture? Do we believe this is how God interacts with His creation? If not, then maybe we aren’t really talking about Yahweh at all.

To pick out a single song and critique an artist is unfair. Most songwriters compile multiple CDs that cover a whole range of topics, feelings, subjects, and emotions. Most are perfectly orthodox and add to our spiritual life.

The problem is we don’t sing albums in church; we sing songs from different artists, splicing them off a record and matching them with similar songs to fit a service. It’s not ideal, and it can lead to an incomplete or distorted theology.  Here’s an example of how I would break down the lyrics of “Above All,” by Michael W. Smith.

Above all powers
Above all kings
Above all nature
And all created things
Above all wisdom
And all the ways of man
You were here
Before the world began

Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones
Above all wonders
The world has ever known
Above all wealth
And treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure
What You’re worth

Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

Overt Message:
Michael W. Smith is emphasizing the sovereignty and power of God. The Almighty ranks number one in any of the categories listed in the song. We simply cannot comprehend God because He has always been (you were here / before the world began) so much more than we can grasp.

Subtle Message:
The challenge with glorifying God in the way Smith does (constantly using “above all”) is it can be hard to do without distancing God from humanity. God is loftier than humanity, but does that necessarily mean He is above us? I worry about what it infers to repeatedly use words that puts God overhead of us, up in the sky. The truth is God is in our midst right now. He’s on the ground with us, surrounding our hands as we work the soil.

Smith’s chorus in this song makes a shift from the glory of God to specifically the glory revealed in the coming of Jesus Christ. As is the tendency with most contemporary songs, the heart of the lyrics are Christocentric, or focusing on the Son of the Trinity. This isn’t a bad thing, but it seems to be severely limited in its scope of what Jesus did. Every part of the chorus has to do with Christ’s death and absolutely nothing about His resurrection. Were we atoned to God when Jesus breathed His last breath, or was it when He rolled away the stone? We do not rejoice on Good Friday, but rather shout from the hilltops on Easter Sunday. It is the resurrection that gives us our chance to be reconciled with God. Jesus absorbing the hit (trampled on the ground / you took the fall) is useless with His resurrection.

Almost all contemporary praise songs are guilty of the next charge. Singular pronouns are the only kind used in this whole song. Not once is there a mention of we, us, our. It isolates the relationship between Jesus and each individual sinner. The reality is that Jesus said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” He didn’t call out the Romans by name, why would He do anything differently for the rest? Is it realistic to think that Jesus went through every person to ever live, including 21st century Americans, and actually thought of individuals as He died on the cross? That sounds very egocentric and more of a reflection on our “me-first” culture than what the Bible has to teach.

Let’s remember these things so we glorify God in a way that also keeps in mind what He did in the incarnation.

 

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The Harmful Reach of Christians: A Critique of Cross-Cultural Missions

missionsBy: Michael Simmelink

You know what’s right in the world? Young adults are understanding the words of Jesus to “go and make disciples” to mean spending their time and resources helping those less fortunate. You know what’s wrong in the world? As Paul Borthwick says in his book Western Christians in Global Missions, “although globally aware, these young people seem unclear on what the gospel is beyond just ‘doing good.’”

Mission work has become synonymous with good deeds, and that is the heart of the current crisis in missiology. A good deed can be defined as a usually spur-of-the-moment act that is not expected to be replicated or establish any sort of long-term partnership. It is simple examples like holding the elevator for a guy with his hands full or lending change to the woman who is a little short at the cash register. They say “thanks,” you say “you’re welcome,” and you can walk away feeling good about what you just did. Missions is not that. Real mission work, and what Jesus was really talking about when He said “go,” is a long-term commitment to preaching the gospel while serving other children of God. It’s not quick; it’s not easy. The trouble begins when short-term projects try to mix the positive vibes of good deeds with ministry. And boy, are these projects popular. In 2005, Princeton released a survey that found 1.6 million Americans participated in mission trips that were less than two weeks long at a cost of $2.4 billion. The trend suggested those numbers will grow every year. Americans see that the world is hurting and want to help, but only in short bursts and with immediate results. They see poor people in Harlem, Guatemala, Libya, Houston, Russia, and China, so they get 15 people from their church to go to those places and try to help.

The problem is those people usually don’t need relief. Roger Sandberg, who was Haiti’s country director for Medair, (think less-prominent UNICEF or Red Cross), said that aid should be divided into the stages of relief, rehabilitation, and development. Relief is only given for a few short months, and usually only after a crisis when basic needs have to be met. Rehabilitation is the process of turning aid-provision over into the hands of the community. Development is what most long-term missions are interested in, and that means creating self-sustaining outposts where missionaries hopefully work themselves out of the job. Western Christians want to help so badly that they end up doing things for the people they are helping, even when the people could be doing it for themselves. As Robert Lupton, who has served in the inner-city of Atlanta for 40 years, puts it in his book, Toxic Charity, “Giving to those in need what they could be gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people.” Jesus told his disciples that they would fish for men. That “for” does not mean that we stick the poles in the water for people as if they are incapable. Maybe we should hear the warning of another fishing metaphor that says, “Fish for a man, and he will have food for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will have food for a lifetime.”

Ah yes, what a problem it is fishing with (hu)man(ity). “Those people” are seen as the global masses who are without the materialism of American culture, but also without easy access to clean water or the Bible in their native tongue. Good things on one hand and bad things on the other. We look at cross-cultural people and recognize they have things of value, but also acknowledge they lack other resources. Americans focus too much energy on what is lacking. The intelligent and affluent Christians come into the backwards and downtrodden places of the world with grand ideas of reform and change. These projects hardly ever take into account what the community itself feels that it needs. Lupton tells horror stories about churches built in villages of Ecuador and never used because the congregations worshiped outside, or packages sent to Africa containing medication for diseases that did not affect native Africans. Think of the money that was wasted on these gifts by short-termers. It could have gone to roofing the thatch houses or water purifying tablets; if only the teams had been patient enough to ask the people what they need. Is it not logical that we know our own strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else? It sounds so simple, but sometimes we only look at what the needs of a person are, and don’t bother to ask them what they can offer. Carrying out God’s mission is not about bringing our plans to the corners of the world; it requires defining the assets of a person and partnering with them so their gifts may be tapped. Once they are empowered, it is expected that the assets of a person can provide self-sustaining means.

So what does this mean for people (like myself) who are planning for upcoming short-term projects? What about the professionals who cannot commit to life-long missions like the saints of yesteryear or courageous souls of today? What about all the positives that come from being involved in these trips? I make the argument that most of the positives (appreciation of new culture, relationships, feelings of accomplishment, new perspective on life, etc.) will not be compromised by the changes I propose.

First, short-termers should only be doing projects that are in partnership with long-termers. A long-termer is someone who has made at least a two-year commitment to be in the thick of a situation. True missionaries are in it for the long haul, and it is both arrogant and ignorant not trust them and use their connections. God has ordained them with a task and we should respect that. Second, mission teams need to recognize the type of aid they are giving and if it is appropriate for the setting. Is there a time to hand out food and clothing without any questions being asked? Yes, but that is four days after a hurricane has hit the city (relief), not four years (development). If working with long-termers, it’s a safe bet that development is the stage of aid. Third, the community that is being served must be included in the plans. This can be scary for people who have policies, agendas, and improvements they want to make in an area. It requires a certain kind of Godly humility to ask a group of people for suggestions because it gives them governance, ownership, and control.  As Ron Blue, a professor in world missions and intercultural studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, said, “It appears to me that those of us in the North America empire are rather slow to yield control to others.” That loss of control is essential to effective mission work.

We should not be discouraged from taking these life-changing trips, but encouraged to do them smarter. I sincerely think a cross-cultural project of any kind is essential to gaining a wider perspective on the world, and my personal experience has seen dramatic shifts in how I view poverty. However, it is time that Christians no longer hang their hats on their intentions; it is time to look hard at the results and decide if we are tangibly making a difference in the world. Let us be the hands and feet of Christ to do that, but let us also do it correctly, efficiently, and lovingly to bring the Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven.

 

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