PREPARATION AND PLANNING

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Having completed probably the most important part of any planning and preparation:  PRAYER, the rest of the preparation and planning will go much smoother.  As with fishing, the way one fishes for men from different types of culture will generally be as diverse as the cultures are.  As we don’t fish for trout the same way we would bass or tuna, being a successful fisher of men will require different tactics.  The one constant that we found, is that the bait is the same (the Word of God), and the hook that we talked about earlier, that tends to work the best is an offer for a free Bible correspondence course.  When an individual is alone with God and His Word, going over thought provoking questions in the course, without man’s interference, it accomplishes what God wants.  “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”  (Isaiah 55:11)  Our job is to find out the best way to “cast thy bread upon the waters”  (Ecclesiastes 11:1); in the best locations; to reach the hungry.

After prayer, the best way to find out which is the best way to reach a particular group of people or country, is to go out and spend sometime with them.  Most find that it is the best vacation they had ever gone on.  Finding a good local missionary will speed the entire process.  They can explain the cultural differences of the people, and tell what method of “casting” might work the best.  In most countries the least expensive, and most effective way to reach the most people, is by putting a gospel ad in the newspaper, along with an offer for a free Bible correspondence course.   Other proven methods have included:  ads in magazines, bus tickets, and in radio spots.  Passing out tracts at big events or door to door works almost everywhere.  A card or coupon is placed in the tract offering the free bible course.

After lack of prayer, the greatest reason mission works fail is due to lack of preparation and planning.  God himself talked about preparation and planning many times.  God even had a man pre-planned to “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3).  This man was John the Baptist as spoken of in Luke 1:1-16, “But the angel said unto him, Fear not Zacharias: for thy prayer (see what came first) is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.  For he shall be a great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.”

My favorite verse on preparation is found in Ezra 7:10, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

Part of the preparation is determining where the harvests are ready to be picked.  Some areas are truly ripe for harvest.  The Philippines is a prime example of a harvest that is fully ripe, and ready to be picked.  In the Philippines there is averaging one response for a Bible correspondence course or every ten tracts that is put out.  That is an unheard of rate of response.  We need laborers for that harvest now.  Other hot spots are Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries where the response rate is one out every 30 tracts distributed.  Chile has a similar rate.  Mexico’s rate is around one out of every 120 tracts, which is still a tremendous response rate.  In the United States is greater than one out of every 1,000 tracts. 

Jesus is the epitome of preparation.  Even now He is preparing a place for us in heaven, “In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”  (John 14:2)    Before we were even made he prepared the way of salvation and the kingdom that we would inherit, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”  (Matthew 25:34).  He has also prepared a place for those that rejected Him, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  (Matthew 25:41).

The greatest preparation that we can do is to pray for guidance as to how we can best reach a people group or country.  When God lays an area on your heart, their is probably one of his missionaries there that you can adopt, and be a servant to.  Together you can pray, research and plan how best to reach that group of people.  Even without a missionary, an individual can visit a country and put an ad in a local newspaper, and have the responses forwarded to them.  The next step for either option is to get together the funds and materials necessary to get the job done.


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