The Christian Chronicle – Dialogue: A conversation with Chuck Whittle

“In the 1990s, all the churches that were sending people here were so excited. You could come over and convert souls in two weeks. Well, nations aren’t brought to Christ in a day. Cultures aren’t changed in 10 years, not in two generations. And we need to develop that attitude — not just in Russia but wherever we go — that we hasten their growth as much as we can, but we can’t expect Russia to go from a communist nation trying to destroy religion to developing mature Christians in five years and withdraw our support.

“We need missionaries, people to walk alongside the Christians, watch them stumble, encourage them and not lose faith that God is in control and that God will bring the fruit. We just need to keep working.”

You hear this, brothers and sisters? Our massive support needs to go here, to supporting long-term missionaries. Instead, we’re into service projects and short-term missions that, while they may contribute some, have little real effect on church growth and development. Nor is support of nationals the answer; most American funds devoted to supporting nationals are poorly used and nearly impossible for a stateside church to evalaute. But churches do it because they see it as a shortcut. There are no shortcuts in missions. It is a long-term effort, and fickle churches who plop money in a field for a few years and then cut and run fall will produce little for the kingdom of God.

What do you think?