When we send a missionary overseas to start a new effort, she may come back a year later with little in the way of actual numbers to report. “We’ve developed relationships with people in the village,” she might say. “We found a ‘person of peace’ there, and we even bonded with some chiefs of the tribe!”
As the missionary tells us fantastic stories of God’s work and gives her report, she continues, “Our mission hasn’t seen any conversions yet, but we’ve developed a plan to begin a Bible discussion group in the coming year. And we’ve developed a long-term strategy for reaching this tribe for Christ.”
What do we do when we hear that report? We celebrate! We praise God! We send that missionary back, and we’ll give her even more financial support if we can!
If a college minister reports the exact same thing to his superiors, he’s probably looking for a new job the next day.
Maybe that should change.