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Steps to Becoming a Missionary: Passing the Baton

Steps to becoming a missionary: Training and Empowering National Leaders Part 3

Passing the Baton

Last week we talked how empowering national leaders was like a scaffold, this week I would like use the illustration of passing a baton.

Every few years in the Olympics, a big blunder happens that causes a country to lose the gold medal in a race. Runners may be quick, have raw talent, and be totally prepared for the big race, but if the runner does not learn to pass the baton to his partner, all efforts are useless. Some of the greatest teams and athletes lose because of a mistake in passing off the baton.

In the same sense, a missionary can run hard, draw big crowds, and be greatly loved by the people. However, if there is a blunder in passing off the baton to the next generation of leaders, the ministry will suffer and could possibly die. No one wants to kill a ministry, but it happens more than we want to admit. Of course there is the key moment when the “big” handoff comes (the missionary leaves the field), but not neglecting all of the “smaller” handoffs in a missionary’s ministry is key to a successful “big” handoff.

If the new leader has never had the opportunity to lead a group, earn the trust of the people, baptize, preach, and be in charge of every step along the way (financially as well as spiritually), it is not his fault when things fall apart. The handoff is largely the missionary’s responsibility. Yes, it is true that if the new leader does not receive the baton on the handoff, it will fail, but the missionary must prepare the new leader for such an occasion. Next week we will look at a Biblical example of passing the baton.