Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rethinking Missionary Motivation

On my mission my favorite AP was an amazing missionary. He worked hard, laid the foundation in new areas and was transferred just prior to seeing the fruits of his labors - inevitably. His entire mission, I think he actually baptized one person he taught - and that was at the end of his mission, as an AP. He didn't get frustrated because he didn't get "credit" for the people he taught who were baptized by other missionaries. He was happy simply to be involved in the process - no matter how long it took.

I believe if everyone took that outlook (including leaders and regular members) regardless of the length of time conversions took for each person, the work would flourish and retention would not be a major issue.


Christy said...

I agree!

John 4:36-37 "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth."

I came across these scriptures while preparing a seminary lesson, and they gave me great joy. I am a starter, not a finisher (in many areas of life). Not to say that I don't need to work on my "starting" or "sowing" (and "finishing" as well), because I do. But I believe we need to use the gifts God has given us to do His work, and that just may mean planting some seeds for others to harvest, or even to grow on their own as Alma explains.

Jami said...

I am seriously anti-numbers. Keeping count of baptisms and discussions and investigators and...and... was so destructive. The competition bred ill-will among missionaries and encouraged rushing people to early commitments. Oh and lying. Plenty of lying too.

It sound like your AP got it right.

Joe said...

I love that scripture Christy posted: John 4:36-37. I hope every missionary reads that, and every member, too. How beautiful and comforting is that? I love it!

I'm writing that scripture down right now!