The following post is taken from 2 lessons I heard from missionary Randy Stirwalt. God is greatly using him in Kenya and Uganda and he has had part in starting over 250 churches. I believe the lesson below has much to do with the reason God is using him. The lesson was presented to a group of missionaries talking about how a missionary is a king maker, not a king. I have divided the lesson into two sections, the first using Jonathan as an example of a king maker and the second using Barnabus as the example.
Jonathan – I Samuel 18
Think about the two characters presented in this passage: Jonathan and David. Jonathan is the son of a king, but David is a son of a shepherd boy. Jonathan was respected by everyone, David was ridiculed by his own brothers. And yet it is Jonathan that makes a covenant with David. In I Samuel 18:4, Jonathan took off his robe and placed it on David. Jonathan knew that David was the next king. He might not have known how, but he knew David was going to be the next king… but he still took off his robe and gave it to David. By giving his robe to David, he is revering and respecting David. Jonathan took off his own authority and chance of being next in line for king and gave it to David.
In the same way, the missionary is to work with the people on his field. The missionary is the one who feels called, raised his money to get to the field, prepared and prayed, yet his responsibility is not be the “hope” for his country but put others in the spotlight. The missionary is not a king, he is a king-maker. The missionary is to take off his robe of prestige or importance and give it to others who will be known for being a great preacher, soul-winner, counselor and man of God. The missionary is to take off our authority and to give it to others.
Jonathan first gave David the robe, but he followed up by giving him the garments: the sword, bow and girdle – everything he needed to be a king.
The missionary is to take off his robe and give it to the national pastor (the authority), but the missionary also is needs to give him everything else the pastor or leader needs to be a good pastor and leader. The missionary is not to just say, “he’s the pastor”, but to help him be a successful pastor and have all the material and tools needed to be the best possible. The missionary is to step aside and lower himself just as Jonathan did to David.
To step aside is probably the hardest thing to do as a missionary, but it is what needs to be done. Remember that a missionary must understand that he is not a king rather a king maker! Everyone likes to be noticed but we must remember that its not about us, it’s about our King, the King of kings. Our arrogance doesn’t want to say that someone else can do it better than we can, but a missionary must understand that in order to have a Biblical as well as flourishing ministry, he must step aside. A missionary must understand that he is not a king rather a king maker!
Here to Serve,
General Director of Vision Baptist Missions