Read 1 Corinthians 3:7-9
One of the most common statements heard after a mission experience is “I went there to be a blessing to others, but I ended up being more blessed myself.” In fact, we (the Church in the United States) have sometimes left ourselves open to the criticism that we do Mission for the benefit of the one being sent. While we never want to objectify the partner with whom we serve, there does seem to be room for growth for all involved – especially if we are truly engaged in God’s Mission. This passage highlights different roles that emerged in Paul’s mission to the Gentiles. Using an agricultural metaphor, he identifies himself as the planter, Apollos as the waterer, and the Corinthians themselves as the field. But God is working through all, and they are only successful because God has blessed their actions.
As you prepare to go and serve, you certainly have expectations about what you will experience and what role(s) you may fill. In the passage, Paul was clear about who had played what roles in the founding of the Corinthian church, but in most of our experiences, those roles can be much more fluid. At times during your trip (and in the times before and after), God may plant a seed through you. God may use you to water a seed that has already been planted. And at times, you may find that you are in fact the field where God is growing something new. Be open to fulfilling any of those roles, or all of them at once. Be open to what God may do through you, with you, and even to you. You are a part of the work God is doing. With that as your focus, you will surely be blessed, and you will also be a blessing to others.
- What are you hoping God will show you during your mission experience?
- How has God blessed others through you in the past? How might God work through you to bless others during your trip?
- How has God blessed you on previous mission experiences? How might God bless you during this time?
“God, help me to embrace all the roles you will ask me to fill during my mission experience. Help me to be just as open to the roles that come easy as well as the ones that challenge me to grow.”