Recently I went to breakfast with a friend who had spent some time in a country on the other side of the world. He prefers the “business as mission” approach to overseas missions. In the course of our breakfast we brought up the lack of men on missions field, especially single. Beyond the usual reason of men seeming to be stuck in some sort of adolescent haze in their twenties, my friend (who was not Wes) made an interesting suggestion as to why more men are not on the field. Here is his point: (Or, more precisely, my interpretation as he is not writing this post)
Sometimes fully-funded mission endeavors do not appeal to men because they don’t feel like they are working for it. They aren’t using their gifts, and design to provide, are not me and thereforee they are turned off by the idea of the missionary who only talks to people (though he admits this may be their perception of missionaries and not the reality, as do I).
This is a very horrible summary of my friends ideas. But I had never connected the ideas concerning manhood and missions. I have thought of it when it is in regards to remaining in the states and how I should work to provide for my (future) family as I live out the christian life every day. But that even betrays my faulty thinking that somehow being here is different than being in some other part of the word…missionally speaking.
If I work in the United States and do ministry, why can’t I do the same in another country? There are certainly some problems concerning this (like not being able to attain a work visa, corruption, etc.).
The main question before us is this: Why aren’t more men going on the mission field? Besides the obvious fact that there are more women than men on the earth (and in churches) and the aforementioned maturity of men in their twenties (though I suppose you can wax eloquent on that if you prefer).
What do you think?