I read this article here. It shows the importance of commitment to a local church no matter where you are in the world.
The new 9Marks eJournal on missions was just released. Click here for the table of contents. One of my favorite articles was Conrad Mbewe’s “How American Christians Can Help Christians in Zambia.”
Here’s his challenging third suggestion for how Western Christians can help:
3) DEMONSTRATE BIBLICAL CHURCHMANSHIP
Western Christians entering Zambia as missionaries are generally very good examples to us with respect to their personal and domestic lives. In these two areas, we see a very clear difference between them and their non-Christian counterparts from the Western world.
However, where we see no difference is in their commitment to the local church. Their church attendance is scanty to say the least. They do not join a local church. We do not know where they give their tithes and offerings. They are not involved in any local church ministries (except to preach when they are asked to do so), and so on.
As a result, our young professional Christians believe that this is enlightened Christianity. They also end up having a very loose relationship with the church. I really think that this has been the Achilles’ heel of the work of Western missionaries in Zambia today. They are not good examples of biblical churchmanship!
We need to find a way in which Western missionaries can maintain relationships with their sending churches and at the same time exhibit biblical accountability to local churches where they labor, so that they can be good examples in this area to those whom they win to Christ.