Not long ago an super secret missionary in China (stats: 0 disciples, 0 churches, 100’s of English teachers recruited) made a comment about my friend Jake (stats: training 4-6 men for ministry, 2 churches, few English teachers recruited), also a missionary in China: “You may be impressed now but his ministry will be short lived doing things that openly as he is.”
Pastor Austin Gardner brought up a great illustration during a retreat last week when he responded to that criticism: “Jesus only stayed in Gadara for one day, made one disciple, and was summarily kicked out (Mark 5:17). That disciple preached Jesus and made him famous throughout ten cities (Mark 5:20).”
I had never thought of that example in connection with missions to places where missionaries are making strategies based on how they can stay the longest. If that were the only example it would be insufficient but a book would be needed to explain and apply the stories of Luke 10:11, Matt 10:14, the jailor of Philipi (Acts 16:39), Jason of Thessalonica (Acts 17), Paul at Achaia (Acts 18:16-17), and the great uproar at Ephesus (Acts 19).
If Jesus and Paul had listened to popular thought from modern missiologists I am sure they would have been much more effective.
Beware lest you are found to argue against God.