Storytellers

20 06 2012

I had the privilege of spending the last two weeks in the country of Colombia with a great group of missionaries. One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting to go up the river and visit with the indigenous tribes. For the particular trip that we went on, the purpose was to bring food to two different villages.  This past spring they experienced a 100-year flood. Most homes were filled with water, and all of their crops were destroyed leaving most of them with nothing. We were just going to bring them some food to get them through a difficult time. (Our very own Baptist Global Response footed the bill for this trip.) What I was most impressed by was that our missionaries were not “The Bringers of Food,” but were “The Storytellers” coming to bring some food. There is a HUGE difference between the two.

Our tendency, as wealthy Americans, is to just throw money at the problems of the world. Our philosophy is that if we can get enough money to the problem then it will solve itself. Yes, money is needed to help and to solve certain problems, but it is naive and possibly sinful to think that money is the most important thing needed. When we arrived at the first village, it was obvious that relationships between the indigenous people and the missionary had already been established. It was equally obvious that our missionary was known as one who comes and tells us stories from the Bible. This is what I want to be known as. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul talks about all of our works being revealed by fire as either wood, hay, and straw, or gold, silver, and precious stones. When I am judged by God for my works, I want my works to be gold, silver, and precious stones, not burned up in an instant. Food will fill the belly for a time, but the Gospel saves for all eternity. Food in the present will ease the cravings enough to hear the stories, but we will all die in the end and face an eternity with or without God. It is not enough to just give food or money or build a church building or dig a well or teach them English. We must open our mouths and share the Good News of God’s Kingdom. In the end, that is all that matters.

When someone steps up to the podium in church one day to tell about your life at your funeral, what will they say? How will they describe your life? Who will they say that you were? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be be called another “great guy.” I want to be called “The Storyteller” who changed the world for the glory of God.


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