Monday, July 17, 2006

Positive Intruders

When I began this thread my categories were tongue-in-cheek as it related to a sign I saw in a muffler shop (see Cost of Labor). The term, Intruder, is a bit harsh, but it did grab the attention for the discussion, a term for affect, not meant to slander.

Intruders are people who want to help do the work, maybe even take over from the people who are on the field. They are more than just Watchers, who dabble in missions; they take ownership. ItÂ’s my opinion that a committed Watcher eventually become a Doer or an Intruder. Intruders, like Watchers, can have a positive function, if they keep things in balance.

The primary reason for Intruders is two-fold. First, as I have mentioned, they are committed to the task of world evangelization. Secondly they want ownership overseas as feel they can do things better than career Doers. Intruders are people or churches that become their own agents of ministry overseas, while still living in the U.S. I have met pastor/intruders who have led their congregations to adopt people groups, cities and even countries, who by-pass North American missionaries and, sometimes, even national leaders, to reach their goals doing ministry themselves on the field. I know of one congregation who adopted Bosnia a few years back and in the ten years they have been involved they have established schools, sent in medical teams for refugees and nearly sixty percent of their membership has made a least one trip to the country that one time was a part of Yugoslavia.

Those who desire to be involved, more than a ten-day excursion, less than a full commitment to living in a country, see their role as being equal to that of the career Doers. In some cases, Intruders do indeed move things faster, maybe even more effectively than Doers. In the grand scheme of what God is doing all over the world; Intruders have made a positive contribution to world outreach. But, Intruders have a down side. Stay tuned.