The fourth installment of our Missions Essentials series deals with integrity, a topic that impacts all facets of missionary life and ministry. This month’s writer, Jonathan Whitman, is an MK who serves in Italy with his wife, Melodee, and their two children.
Having grown up in Italy, I immediately think of the tower of Pisa. What were they thinking? How could the engineers have misjudged to the point that centuries later we’re still trying to fix their mistake? It turns out there isn’t just one leaning tower; if you build a tower in Pisa, it’s pretty much going to lean and possibly fall over eventually unless you do something about it. You see, the problem doesn’t lie so much in the building, but in the foundation. Pisa is built on sand, and the higher you build, the more it visibly sinks.
As one notable author frequently states, "Whatever you have on the inside shows up on the outside.” Just like that tower. The problem lies below the surface, but the symptoms can be seen for miles. That’s the way integrity works. Integrity means being someone you can trust and count on. Integrity means fleeing from sin and keeping your word, even when it hurts. Integrity takes a lifetime to maintain and can be lost in a moment. It’s no wonder the apostle Paul, in I Timothy 3:2, records the high value integrity has in ministry: “A bishop then must be blameless.”
Both the Home Office staff and missionaries are devoted to living and upholding integrity—financially, morally, ethically, theologically. The BMM Home Office staff works tirelessly, providing support for most areas of life and ministry, many times putting the needs of the missionaries above their own. They offer their best in order that we missionaries can offer our best—all over the world. I’ve known missionaries who have returned to war-torn countries at risk of their own life and security because of their deep love for God and the people they have been called to serve. I’ve seen other missionaries spend what living expenses they had to support ministry needs instead.
If you’re just starting out or praying about possible involvement in missions, I’m guessing you’re looking for a team of workers that will remain committed to the essentials.
For us at Baptist Mid-Missions, integrity is not an option. We will continue to do everything in our means to strive for holiness and faithfulness toward God, toward each other, and toward the people to whom we are called to reach with the gospel.
May we continue to serve faithfully and with integrity for the next 100 years!
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. —1 Thessalonians 5:23-24