The critical discussion between religions has fallen on hard times. Due in large measure to what Francis Schaeffer calls “escape from reason,” men are coming to view religion as an exclusively non-cognitive activity, the doing of one’s “thing” which somehow infuses human life with transcendental significance.
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An interesting development has taken place on the missionary scene at some time during the past hundred years: the rise of the notion of a lifetime commitment associated with a particular geographical location.
Twenty-three years ago I had the task of drafting a service application form for the fledgling Missionary Aviation Fellowship. I gathered samples from a variety of boards and agencies. One had this question: “If appointed, do you intend to make missionary service your life work?”
In discussing the mental health of missionaries, we come to the question of why missionaries in need of help often refuse or definitely resist getting help. Others seek help very late. Why? Many factors operate, same of which are reality based; others are not valid.
Do students have anything to offer missions in the 1970s? Some missionaries wonder if this generation can be used in missionary service.
The pastoral care of missionaries is not something for which I can produce proof texts from Scripture, although we might reasonably assume that Paul and Barnabas gave loving care to John Mark and other fellow-workers as they traveled and toiled with them.