This is an article from the March 1986 issue: Luis Bush, Latin America, and the End of History

Beavers, Mallards, & Eagles

Beavers, Mallards, & Eagles

Have no fear, my friend! God hasn't intended that everyone be a missionary. Nevertheless, every Christian in the world ought to be a World Christian. The command to make disciples of all nations leaves no room for a Christian's concern to stop at anything less than the world.

It has been said that the scope of a person's ministry will depend a great deal upon the scope of his concerns and prayer life. If " has asked us in make disciples of all nations and has promised us that we will be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, do we have any right to plan, think, or pray with goals and expectations that fall anywhere short of this? If you are anything less than a World Christian, you run the risk of hindering others and yourself from realizing all that God wants to do with you.If a local fellowship of Christians is to be effective in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, it needs three types of World Christians. For the sake of having descriptive names attached, we will call them beavers, eagles, and mallards.

Beavers are energetic builders who work in a single locale.

World Christian beavers are heavily involved in the church's local responsibilities. They are convinced that, as in the parable of the lost sheep, the task of reaching the unreached peoples of the world is God's highest priority. They are not ignorant of what is happening around the world. They talk about world events and theft impact on the advance of the gospel. They pray for the world; they give for world evangelization; but theft primary focus is on the home front. Their energies are devoted to accomplishing the task at home, to building a base to and from which World Christian mallards can fly.In the parlance of the U.S. Center for World Mission, World Christian beavers axe what have been called "evangelists" and "senders."

Mallards are migratory birds, at home in two locations. Often, theft homes consist of lakes created by beavers' dams. They may travel great distances to get from one location to the other, but once they arrive at either destination, they settle down to activity within a narrow habitat.

World Christian mallards are committed to migrating across cultural barriers in order to work in significantly different contexts from those into which they were born. Mallards' focus of attention is split between "home" and "field," World Christian mallards do not necessarily travel great distances geographically. The primary distinctive of their migration is the crossing of cultural boundaries. There are so many cultures within individual countries that World Christian mallards may remain "at home" geographically, yet be far removed from theft cultural roots.

Mallards are what have been traditionally called "missionaries."

Eagles have sharp eyes. They fly high above theft domain and have a knowledge of theft habitat commensurate with that high flying perspective.

World Christian eagles have a broader view of things than do either mallards or beavers. World Christian eagles are restless within theft own culture  their attention and activity are not so narrowly focused or defined as are the attention and activity of theft friends the beavers. Yet they do not migrate to work in other cultures as do the mallards. Instead, they help both beavers and mallards by acquiring the broadest perspective possible on what is happening around the world, and then passing on their finding to both beavers and mallards.

World Christian eagles are the information gatherers and disseminators of the mission world. They are, often, the communication links between beavers and mallards. They help the mallards know what the beavers are thinking and doing, and they help the beavers know what the mallards are involved in.

Eagles are mission educators, mission leaders, mission recruiters, mobilizers, and strategizers.

Notice that the differences between World Christian mallards, beavers and eagles do not arise because of differences in the animals' spirituality. It is not as if one animal is busier or more important than the other, but rather, each one has been equipped by his or her Creator to carry out his or her part in the larger task.

What are you? What role will you play in God's plan for world evangelization?


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