7 Important Laws

Every missionary has their own way of doing things.  We strive to follow these 7 important laws in our mission work:
The first law is dependence on the Holy Spirit.  For we know our success rises or falls depending on the Holy Spirit and God wants to do far more than we could ever imagine.  In one day the Holy Spirit can do much more than a crowd of Christians can do in a lifetime of labor.  We must have His Pentecostal power revival fire.  So we must depend on Him; everything must be bathed in prayer.  Nor must we grieve Him by failing to obey, to fast, to labor, or to expect His blessings.  Dependence on Him also means that we can trust the Holy Spirit to lead the national church.  Indeed He is more capable than I am -- I who am less than a worm before God.  Did He not say that He would guide us into all truth?  God can do great work in men's hearts and in impossible situations without us fussing, manipulating, or pulling strings.  Hudson Taylor said, "Learn to change men by God through prayer."

The second is holiness.  Our Methodist heritage and our Biblical mandate is to earnestly urge Christians to go on to Christian perfection.  Paul the greatest missionary ever prayed night and day exceedingly to see the Thessalonians in order to perfect that which was lacking in their faith -- entire sanctification.  Ephesians 4:11-12 teaches that Christian leaders are to lead the people into perfection so that they can do the work of the ministry.  I believe that this perfection to be taught is not just doctrinal or end in a second experience of grace, but also has the fruits of standards, perfect love, continued growth, and a lifestyle separate from the world.

Third is servanthood.  We are not called to be bosses but servants.  We are to serve the nationals.  The best way to serve them is by making disciples of Christ.  Investing in faithful men (rather than in programs, structures, or empires) is called discipling.  Lest I be misunderstood, 2 Timothy 2:2 explains what I mean by investing in faithful men or discipling.  "...the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."  We are also servants to our local church and its mission arm which sends us.  So we do nothing with the disapproval of our pastor or our mission director.  We have found God's blessing and protection by not serving ourselves but others and our local church.

Fourth is sow liberally.  I believe that God's Word teaches us that if we sow His Word liberally we will reap liberally in some form or another.  Again this was a principle among the Methodist circuit preachers.  For a while I was preaching or teaching up to 30 times a month in a circuit.  But now I am learning that with a family I must sow abundantly in them too with time, teaching, Bible, prayer, and love, thus I am home more now.  But I expect to reap a harvest not only abroad but from my own family as well.  This is all the more important since more and more they will be taking my place in ministry. We sow by getting sound and stirring Biblical and holiness literature into the people's hands to read as John Wesley encouraged.  We also sow in Prayer, Fasting, Time, Finances (often Christians give until it hurts), Denying ourselves, etc, for everything given in Jesus name WILL have a reward.  Give much, receive much.

Fifth is nationalize.  We must nationalize the work as soon as possible.  The nationals must psychologically own the work, make the decisions, pay the bills, cast the vision, for they know how to reach their own culture better than we do.  We simply Spiritually equip, serve, and encourage them.  Paul our missionary example never stayed more than a few years at each particular foreign field.  We don't want to cripple a work by causing a demoralizing dependancy on ourselves or on our finances.      

 Sixth is be.  Being is more important than doing.  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through out the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)  We must live as Jesus said in John 5:30, "I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."  When God told Abram in Genesis 17:1 to, "Walk before me and be thou perfect," Abraham simply obeyed and God brought about the promises.  Some have little time for personal holiness, for they are too busy trying in human strength to bring to pass God's promises.  "Here is the patience of the saints, ...they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (Revelation 14:12) 

Seventh is love fervently.  Love the people.  Learn to love their language and love to learn it.  Love to do what you are doing.  Love to do God's will.  Love to preach, work, study, and learn, and love to call on God.  Love to walk in the light that God shows you through those you are serving.  Love to serve and to give.  Love your wife and family; they need it now more than ever especially as they too have given all.  And love God with a perfect heart.  And regarding love, strive to promote love and unity among the congregations and leaders.

God has blessed us as we have tried to adhere to these principles.  We'd love to hear from you, for we desire to learn more
     Your servants for the coming of God's holy kingdom,
     Phillip Dickinson and family
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