I have just read a portion of an old topical teaching by Oswald Chambers, entitled So Send I You. The theme is effective missions and witnessing as contained in lectures to students in Chambers’ Bible College, before he went to British troops in Egypt during World War One. He died of an illness contracted there.
He suggested that the mis-guided missionary craze was to improve, civilize, heal and educate. This was secondary, and robbing evangelistic effort of the power to be God-directed in one man or a few who would make a quality decision to approach ever more intimately the person of Jesus Christ. The means of communion are there (Bible, prayer, meditation, sanctified discourse, the elements of the Supper, irreplaceable leading of the Holy Spirit).
The Christian worker “steeped” in Christ merely did the simple, obvious and available work, but with tremendous Godly power and precision. He made himself available. God said gently “here” or “over to that person” or “not yet”. He did the service wherever he was to be found; not, as humourously stated, wherever he was not found.
And the bulk of the work was found in prayer. Remember how Jesus said “the fields are white unto harvest; therefore pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth workers.”
But oh no we North Americans must always be planning, programming, doing and seen to be doing. Pity. The Power just went somewhere else.