Water purification systems aren’t in the bible either. Neither are AIDS prevention programs. Not a mention of slave trafficking awareness. You’re not going to see tent meeting crusades either. Other unmentioned activities: youth sports outreaches, bible smuggling, university campus bible studies, business as missions, and orphanages.
These are strategies developed towards a desired end. Is it okay that none of these things are strictly ‘biblical’? Must everything we do as missionaries be found bound in the bible? As providers of humanitarian aid must their be a touch of divinity mixed in with our humanity?
On his blog Seth Godin says,
“Non-profit failure is too rare, which means that non-profit innovation is too rare as well. Innovators understand that their job is to fail, repeatedly, until they don’t.”
Read the whole article here: ‘Non-profits have a charter to be innovators‘.
Then come back and chat about it. You can add your thoughts in the comments below.
We are a strategic bunch of people. We push limits. We challenge. But do we fail enough?
Is “failure” actually a sign of effective ministry? How have you failed in your work in the last 3 months?
To further the discussion on the tension between validity and innovation:
- As a missionary do you find yourself running tally marks on a mental spreadsheet to make sure your existence counts? How effective is this mentality?
- As a humanitarian relief worker do you justify the dollars sustaining you by logging as many “wins” as you can? What would you do differently without performance pressure nagging you?
- Where do we derive our validity as we work in our different fields?
– Angie Washington, missionary living in Bolivia, South America
photo credit: Ariana Terrence