…on the front burner…
We all love to get them.
When we think to give them, we too feel good in the offering of them.
Solomon wrote, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25
Then, why in the world are good, thoughtful compliments so rare?
Did you ever get a “compliment” from someone and feel like you needed to simultaneously use hand sanitizer and check to see that you still had your wallet?! Or, how about those times when someone is “complimenting” you but their words don’t match how they treat you or how they treat others? Yea, me too. No thank you! It would be better if they hadn’t said anything at all.
But a well-crafted compliment, now that’s a different story! Much like the mass of the iceberg is below the waterline, those kinds of compliments often have enormous, considerable impact on the complimented one. In fact, I would go so far as to say that a thoughtful compliment has the potential to change lives. Consider this:
at the heart of all significant compliments is an other-focused appreciation for the character of the complimented ones and how they make life better for others. It is in the thoughtful reflection and attention to detail that a compliment is imbued with the power to impact, for in it, we recognize that the complimenter has thought about us uniquely. No wonder Solomon wrote so many proverbs on the power of words!
Recently, I’ve been perusing through a helpful collection of articles in the book, Effective Engagement in Short-term Missions: Doing It Right!
At least for me, this is not one of those books you sit down and read from cover to cover. It is more like a smorgasbord; pick what you want and chew on that for awhile and then go back for more. One article deals with the complementary aspects of short and long-term missions (Wan and Hartt, pp. 63-98). If you are tracking with me, yes, I know there is a difference between compliment
. For several years, we have strongly advocated that short-term and mid-term opportunities should be complementary to the long-term ministry strategies that each field is responsible to develop. If your team or field is still struggling with this, please seek your IMD’s help in turning this corner. Anyway, back to the article. The authors quoted research highlights that show how long-term missionaries can impact short-term and mid-term missionaries. Consider this:
Complementary aspects of Long-term Missionaries to Short-term & Mid-term Missionaries:
- Change worldviews through experience
- Change attitudes toward missions
- Help people catch the vision for church planting
- Develop relationship with short-term & mid-term missionaries
- Help give a positive experience moving short-termers and mid-termers to long-term commitment
- Foster increased involvement in evangelism
- Encourage increased interest in Bible study
- Give assessment of suitability for long-term missions
- Encourage engagement in compassion and justice ministries at home
- Increase understanding of God’s calling in their lives
- Increase understanding of long-term missionary life and challenges
- Strengthen desire to see the ends of the world reached
In our coming alongside of (complementary) short and mid-termers, may we creatively and thoughtfully find expression (compliment) that affirms who they are becoming in Christ, how they have touched lives in their on-field ministry, and cast vision for their unique contributions in God’s work of seeking the lost. May we go far beyond gratitude for what they have done to help us. May we be people who compliment well. May we speak words that give life!
…good to know...
Effective Engagement in Short-term Missions: Doing It Right! (EMS 16)
edited by Robert Priest
Effective Engagement in Short-term Missions represents the single most ambitious effort to date to understand and improve upon patterns of ministry in STM. In six sections, the authors explore topics such as the links between STM and older patterns of long-term missions; engagement with people of other cultures; international partnerships; specialized ministries such as medical missions; legal and financial liabilities; and last but not least, the impact of STM on participants. The goal of this book is to improve the ways in which STM is carried out and to improve the understandings needed on the part of all who engage in the ministry. In short, this book attempts to provide a knowledge base for those who provide leadership within the short term missions movement. Youth pastors, mission pastors, lay leaders, college and seminary students, and missiologists will all find information that is helpful and relevant to their concerns.
WorldVenture | 1501 W. Mineral Ave., Littleton, CO 80120-5612 | 720-283-2000 InternationalMinistry@WorldVenture.com