We have all had those awkward moments after saying something that either shouldn’t have been said or saying something incorrectly and having it taken to mean something totally different from your intended meaning. In those moments the silence is deafening.
I was reminiscing during the holidays with my youngest daughter, Michelle, about things she remembered from her childhood days. We were talking about a vacation we had taken to the Smoky Mountains when she was three. At that age she had an arm with an easily dislocated elbow which, when out of place, required her doctor to relocate. On this trip we were exploring a cavern on a tour with 30 or 40 others. Of all times, her elbow dislocated. Because this is very painful for her, she would scream out with pain. Not the thing you want to hear anytime, much less in an underground cavern. We took her to a local doctor which did not look like her home doctor, as his age was much different. We both remember him having a bit of difficulty resetting her arm. After the first couple of tries, Michelle in her loudest voice told him he was not a “Real” doctor. We were very embarrassed at the time, but now laugh at the occasion.
In my daily Bible reading I read the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac to prove His love and trust in God. The Bible records that Isaac inquired on their journey from whence would come the sacrifice, to which Abraham replied that God would provide for Himself the lamb.(Genesis 22:8) A few verses later we see Abraham binding his son Isaac and laying him on the altar. What we don’t see is any words of objecting from Isaac.
The thought occurs to me that this young man is not recorded to voice any objection to what he had to view as soon death. Don’t you think if this were a youth today there would be much objection voiced by the entire situation? No doubt there would be a fight on the part of the young man in opposition to what was about to take place. There would be national news stories about the father’s arrest for child abuse and attempted murder. It would be all over the social media in no time. Abraham wouldn’t stand a chance in our legal system.
Yet, in scripture, Isaac opens not his mouth. I was talking to my dad, Dr. Jack Dinsbeer, retired Pastor but still writing Bible Studies and teaching and preaching weekly, about this issue. He took me back to Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek in Genesis 14 and what Melchizedek brings, bread and wine as He blessed Abram. Here we have Abraham being assured by example that God would provide for Himself a sacrifice to be made.
I am sure Abraham must have passed on this experience to Isaac in his teachings of God’s faithfulness to he and his family. It is certain that by this time in Isaac’s life Abraham would have imparted a vast amount of wisdom based on his personal relationship with a Holy God. Such wisdom heard, understood, and received must be a factor in Isaac’s acceptance of these unusual circumstances. His silence speaks loudly of his faith in God’s promises passed on to him by his father.
But “Silence” takes on any number of characteristics. In this passage our assumption is that it speaks to Isaac’s awesome faith. Unfortunately it is not always such a positive indication, but still speaks as loudly. Take for instance the list of things Missionaries need to convey to their supporters, but feel they can’t due to negative repercussions.
Here 2 There works with both Missionaries and Churches to bring them into a “Partnership” relationship. One aspect of a true partnership is the ability to communicate information freely, good or bad, without fear of consequences. We are all the time confronted by Missionaries who tell us they can not say some things to their supporting churches because they fear the response would not be good.
Some of these things they need to be able to share with others include:
- Matters of a personal or family issue they are going through
- Spiritual warfare they are battling on the field
- Emotional stress they are feeling
- Financial pressures they are experiencing
- Desperation over real needs in their life and ministry
Or it may be something good they wish to share, but don’t feel it would be taken the right way, such as:
- Our family had the best vacation to some famous place
- We got a special gift which enabled us to do a great thing for the family
The fear Missionaries have is that, whether good or bad news, the response is not pleasant and could result in a loss of support. So They Stay Silent ! Unable to share what they really need to communicate to those closest to them due to their fears. You may say this is an exaggeration. But, this is what H2T deals with everyday. The sad news is that it is very damaging to both Missionary and Church Families.
Our solution lies in the establishment of Church Partnership relationships between Missionaries and Churches. That is what we have been teaching and training about for several years. We are purpose in “Closing the Gap Between Missionary and Church”.
When a Partnership relationship exists between Missionary and Church each participant enjoys the blessings of service to the Lord and His works, both on the field and in the pew.
No longer is the Silence Speaking Loudly because Productive Communication is leading to Positive Ministry. I can’t tell you how different this relationship is when there is a union between these entities which moves both forward for the Glory of the Lord.
If you are a part of a church which has little to no relationship and contact with her missionaries, I would love the opportunity to speak with your ministry about the benefits and blessings of doing Missions in Partnership with your Missionaries. By the way, H2T believes Everything a church does is “Missions” and Every Person in the church is a “Missionary”.
In February Here 2 There kicks off our latest training tool AMPD, Association of Mission Partnership Development. This 11 month comprehensive training opportunity promises to be a most effective and impactful tool for any church participating in it. I urge you to go to our website at here2there.org and click on the link for AMPD to discover more.
Church Partnership Lead