Beginning tomorrow you will be able to follow the adventures of Missionary Max here on this blog. Several years ago I made a brief foray into fiction, trying to write the chapters of the story as I went. After a short period of time I abandoned this as impractical. For the last two years I have been developing the story of Missionary Max as a series of books which will one day (hopefully) be published. The first book is complete, and I will be posting it chapter-by-chapter every Monday.
So why do this? Why the investment of time and creative energy in a fictional missionary adventure?
The answer is simple: The modern missionary effort is dying for lack of men.
While I certainly don’t agree with everything Mark Driscoll has to say, he asked a key question in a recent blog:
In Christianity today, 60 percent of those who attend church are women. Eleven to thirteen million more women in church than men. Say, “Praise God,” the ladies love Jesus. Where are the men?
He goes on to explain how his church seeks to “get the men”. And at it’s most basic level, Missionary Max is my own humble attempt to “get the men”.
Missions needs men, and for men to want to “do” missions they have to understand that it is an adventure. I can remember as a child listening to my Junior Church leader tell the story of Amy Carmichael. She had brown eyes, and wanted blue eyes. She prayed, and asked God to give her blue eyes. God left her eyes brown. Later, when she worked in India, she was able to identify more with the natives because of her brown eyes.
How cute. How sweet. How absolutely…girly!
Later, at a camp, a missionary kept me spellbound with stories of how Amy Carmichael put herself in personal, physical danger in order to singlehandedly save countless girls from lives of temple prostitution. Now THAT is adventure. That is awesome! Laura Croft never dreamed of doing that!!! After the chapel sessions my friends and I would go out and pretend we were missionaries rescuing the fair maidens from the evil temple priests.
And the list goes on. Adoniram Judson stood up to an entire pagan regime. David Livingstone faced down a charging lion and discovered the headwaters of the Nile. Among my colleagues here in Brazil are those who were kept under surveillance by Communists, crash-landed airplanes, were shot by hit-men, and faced down angry mobs. In my own short career I have been stranded in a robber infested wilderness, bought alcoholic beverages for airline employees (it’s a long story…suffice it to say I was 17 and had no idea what I was doing at the time), swam in piranha-infested waters, and romanced a native beauty (who is now my wife). This is action! This is adrenaline! This is adventure!!!
And it is this adventure which is not reflected in many of the missionary stories I see today. In reading them one gets the impression that missions consists of prayer meetings and perpetual serenity.
So, enter Missionary Max. Without giving too much away, let me say that you will find him to be somewhat of a cross between Indiana Jones and David Livingstone. And the Indiana Jones reference is no accident. In a recent documentary it was shown how the Indiana Jones adventures raised up a new generation of young archaeologists.
My hope is that Missionary Max will inspire at least a few young men with the adventure that is missions. There will be fights, explosions, restless natives, and yes, even fair maidens. Don’t miss it!!!
Talk back to the missionary: Have any real-life missionary adventures to share? Give us an adrenaline rush in the comments section.
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