LFTF: Episode 2

Published 17th February 2016 - Paul Mac | Series: Lessons From the Field

Lessons from the Field (LFTF) an ongoing video series where we ask field-experienced leaders and teachers the tough questions about cross-cultural ministry.

In episode 2 of Lessons from the Field we sit down with Paul Mac who along with his wife Linda worked among the Ata people in Papua New Guinea (See the Ata Story). We ask the question:


In ministry, particularly in church planting, how important is it to have a long-term view? What are some things we should be picturing?

In terms of what is really important, what do people need to be picturing, what do they need to have in mind before they head out and get involved in any ministry, but particularly if you’re talking about church planting and being involved in reaching the neediest people groups, and in seeing a church planted… it’s absolutely paramount that you have a picture in mind, not what you as an individual, or perhaps a team, or the agency, what their goals are, but what are God’s goals? What’s God’s intention? What does he desire to see take place in any given community? To have, not the details, because we don’t know how that’s all going to play out, and the people themselves, believers themselves, the church themselves, they have to be part of seeing that take place, and taking God’s word and applying it in their own situation. Those who go initially, those who are the initial church planters, it’s very important, it’s critical that they have in mind that they have some understanding of the principles that should guide the work. In any endeavor, if we don’t have a goal, we set out and probably nothing of any significance will take place. The broad principles from God’s word, the way God Himself works, and then how that’s played out in His story, His narrative, in certainly the Old Testament, but as we come into the New Testament, and the we get lessons from those who have been church planting down through history. We see the things that have actually worked. By worked, I’m not talking about numbers, or physical things, all of that. What’s worked in terms of seeing a church planted, believers that have grown to maturity, that value God’s word, and are able to stand on their own two feet and reach out. Those who start that, who are the catalysts for that happening, need to have a picture in mind of where it’s heading, so that the work they’re involved in, the things they do, their hours, actually feed into that, and they can prioritize things properly.

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More from this series

LFTF: Episode 38

How do I combat laziness?

LFTF: Episode 37

What are the areas that most often cause people to leave the field?

LFTF: Episode 36

What are some of the things you like about being a ‘missionary kid’, and what are the challenges?

LFTF: Episode 35

Disagreements and disputes among missionary teams are a big reason why many leave the field. Do you have any advise for making sure relationships within a team remain healthy?

LFTF: Episode 34

As a missionary, do you have any concern about your child’s wellness or your child’s faith?

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