Where did the idea that the role of a missionary was “to work your way out of a job” disappear to? Agh!!!!

I know I have blogged on this subject before but this issue keeps popping up. This post was prompted by a prayer request on one of our many prayer diaries that we follow. It basically asked that we pray for a certain missionary to settle in and be able to evangelize and disciple young people.

Now, I may be over-reacting but my first thought was, “it is the job of the local church, not the missionary or the agency, to evangelize and disciple”.  Clearly the missionary should be a member of the local church and thereby be part of a group who do evangelism, however, the missionary should at least be attempting to train others to do the job.

One of the first slogans of mission I ever heard [and as the son of a mission trainer of 50 years that was a long time ago!] was the role of the missionary was to “work your way out of a job”. Good old Roland Allen in his Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours said this 104 years ago! You would have thought, even in this dull-witted age, that we may have caught on by now.

What’s the answer? Is it a moratorium on foreign missions? The answer is certainly not me whining on my blog! Answers on a postcard.