I am just beginning the arduous 1000-300-100 plan. You know what that is, right? Sounds like some kind of whacked out insurance policy, doesn't it?
Actually, the 1000-300-100 plan is a major part of a missionary's life before he gets to the field. It simply means this: I must call 1000 churches to schedule 300 meetings- this means that approximately 700 churches that I call will not result in a scheduled meeting- and of those 300 meetings that are scheduled, only 100 will probably actually take us on for financial support.
Now, let's make things very clear. I am NOT complaining. This is just how it is. Obviously, not every church that a missionary calls can take him on for financial support. But sometimes a missionary can be in the middle of this process and become very selfish- a sort of, "What can I get out of this" mentality.
I want to share something that the Lord allowed me to experience the first day I began calling pastors. I believe He allowed this to happen so that I could keep things in perspective during the 1000-300-100 plan.
It was about the third call of the morning, and I was calling Pastor Bryce Hager in Taylors, South Carolina. I talked with him briefly, and he said that at the time they could not take on any new missionaries. Obviously, I was a little bit disappointed to hear this; but nothing compared to how I would feel just a few seconds later.
He went on to tell me that I could call him back in a few weeks, because the next day he was leaving for Australia. When I inquired about the purpose for his trip, he said, "My two year old granddaughter passed away a couple of days ago. My daughter and son-in-law are serving in Australia. I will be back in a few days."
I did not know what to say. I felt the Lord was leading me to simply have a short word of prayer with him, and I did. I asked, "Pastor, can I just have a quick word of prayer for you and your family?" "Sure," he replied.
Here is the bottom line: we as missionaries need to realize that what we are doing is not about us. We do not begin the ministry when we get to the field; we are already in the ministry, and we have an opportunity to minister to hundreds and thousands of people before we even get to the field to which God has called us.
Let's pray for Pastor Hager and his family. And let's keep things in perspective.