Question:

Things here are OK, though kind of aggravating at times, I spend most of my time working from 10 am in the morning 'til 6 or even 8 at night. Anything I have gone to has been a Christian event, but I started skipping them tonight. I am playing sports with non-Christians. God has given me a ministry there, so I rather spend time with non-Christians than with people who are Christians. Plus the Christian youths here won't help me, usually saying they are too busy, so I feel no need to waste time begging when I can go solo and minister every night. Besides God has blessed my ministry. I know this is where God wants me, but I will probably never use this organization for missions again. They promised a lot in the package of all the stuff that would be happening. The thing is most of it will nothappen, or only once, but most of it not at all.

I find I must starteverything to even get somewhere. I throw out some ideas I have been praying about. They respond with, "Well, you need a game plan. When I ask, "Like what?" They tell me it needs to be written out. I tell them I only know how to write in English, but they laugh. It's like I'm heading one direction while the leadership here is heading in a different direction. It's tough because I must pull teeth to even get anything done here. Otherwise people mostly say they're too busy.

So I am going by myself and doing stuff, which is sweet. I can do that. The only person here who can fail is me, but at the same time I have been in prayer for over a month, almost two months, for God not to let me go at it alone. I want to have unity here, but it seems like the exact opposite is going to happen.

I got a lot of friends here who are non-Christians, and God has called me to them. I pray I may stay on the right track with that. When I am at a Bible study, youth events, and such my spirit is never at peace. I think Bible studies are great. And youth events, well they're youth events. They are not that great. When I am spending time and reaching out just by simply being friends with tons of non-Christians, my spirit is at peace. But when I am among the Christians it's like I am being pushed away -- not by them, but I want to leave and I don't know why.

I am praying more than I ever have; I have listened to God more then I ever have; read the Bible almost more then I ever have and God has put the desire there to do all these things, and I enjoy them tons. But it's when I come around these people -- it's weird -- I am unsettled and not at rest. The only time I get to spend with non-Christians is when I am not working and when I am tired and ready for sleep. It's all on my own time. I need to pray more and ask God where do you want me? I believe He wants me with the youth as I have been reaching out to them.

So that's what's been going on. Some advice be awesome.


Answer:

I can think of no better words than Paul's to Timothy, "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (II Timothy 4:1-5).

I am glad you found a way to make contacts with non-Christians. No preacher can spread the word of God without finding an audience who needs to hear that word. You are not the type of young man content with talking to people who have already devoted their lives to Christ. You want to reach out to the lost. Every Christian has different mixtures of talent. Some do well encouraging and exhorting fellow Christians to stay on the true path. "For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:4-8). Your God given talent leads you to seek the lost, so make the most of it.

Just remember, though, you are there to teach God's word. Don't get so caught up with making contacts that you forget your true purpose. Nor confuse your own personal desires and attribute them to God's desires. God is clear in His word what He desires of each of us. "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

I can't say I have ever been a fan of formal "missions" programs. You don't read of such in the Bible. Instead, you find in the Bible individuals with a drive to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ being sent and funded by congregations. The proof of their ability is in their results. "Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart" (II Corinthians 3:1-3).

I don't know what obligations you agreed to go down to Chile. What I would recommend is that you meet those obligations because you gave your word. But use your own time to leave a trail of disciples of Christ behind you. Make a difference in people's hearts. "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:3-4). I suspect that as people respond to the gospel, you will not find yourself alone.