Jump directly to the Content


What does it take to generate excitement instead of yawns?

A member of the missions committee came to me two years ago with this question: "Why do we get such great attendance at our Christmas pageants but such dismal attendance at missions events?" I gave a few trite answers in immediate response, but his question got me thinking.

Was it because our presentations were shabby? Perhaps, but we had worked hard to see that they were well planned and well delivered.

Was it because our speakers were boring? Maybe, but we had hosted some of the top missions speakers in the country, and the turnout was still poor.

I finally realized that the focus of the two presentations was different. The Christmas pageant was a festive celebration of the gospel, culturally acceptable. The essence of cross-cultural missions is also the gospel, but in the form of cross-bearing unselfishness. Christmas pageants could satisfy those who came to receive; missions meetings were for those ready to give.

That evaluation forced me to realize that the task of building a "vision ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Making the Tough Calls
Making the Tough Calls
Five steps to make the process a bit easier.
From the Magazine
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
Money promises autonomous abundance. But we need someplace where we cannot hide.
Editor's Pick
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Matthew D. Kim believes addressing pain is part of a preacher’s calling.