Saturday, August 6, 2016

Do You Have a God Complex?

As the Love & Respect Ministry Team prepared for their service in Kenya, we discussed the idea that many westerners (and western missionaries) have a god complex—we believe that we know what is best, we will identify your problems, we will tell you how to fix your problems, and our way is the right way. Our discussion was a means to help the team understand and encourage the work of Surprised by Hope in East Africa—that of strengthening and supporting pastors in the way of Scripture and not necessarily in the way of our western ideologies.

Not only do many westerners have a god complex, but many East Africans put us on a pedestal as well. East Africans recognize that they have some problem and believe that the problem can only be solved with the intervention of westerners, often with money. We all know that salvation from any problem only comes from the Lord which is why Surprised by Hope strives to break that old way of thinking and to equip and empower pastors and church leaders by working together as mutual partners.

Breaking the mindset that westerners have all the answers is essential to restoring each of our relationships (Africans and westerners) with the Lord, to restoring our understanding of who we are as image bearers, and to restoring an understanding that work is a form of worship. These broken relationships create chaos and contribute to the perpetuation of poverty or at least of a poverty mentality. The team’s learning in this area prepared them to serve the Lord outside their own ways of thinking and enabled them to enter ministry in a more meaningful way.

Watch this short video from The Chalmers Center about how short term missions can help without creating a god complex.

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