And Jonah stalked to his shaded seat and waited for God to come around to his way of thinking. And God is still waiting for a host of Jonah’s in their comfortable houses [places] to come around to his way of loving. Thomas Carlisle
Experience trumps training, but it is training. Cardoza-Orlandi contributes Chapter 6 of his book significantly to theology. The premise of this chapter is that being called, having motivation and willingness is not enough to enter missionary work, but that significant cross cultural and missional theological study should be done before hand. Similar to my argument about a balanced perspective, I do not necessarily disagree with the arguments Cardoza-Orlandi presents. I do however feel the emphasis is unbalanced. There is a lack of emphasis on personal experience. Personal experience in my opinion is the best way people learn. Personal Spiritual transformation comes from interpersonal experiences and the Holy Spirit. The more weight we put on intellect and information before accepting somebody to be ready for mission, the less trust we have in others and the Holy Spirit. Inevitably, we will discourage people from missions and possibly God. Missions to me is like having your first child, you can read all the self help books you want, you’re still not fully prepared for the experience and you’re still going to stay up all night. A thorough reading of Jonah and bible study with a lot of prayer, discernment and community is enough to set sail. God sent Jonah, and do we think he was ready? Wasn’t it personal experience God was giving Jonah to get him to come around to Gods thinking? Jonah was a prophet, isn’t that significant and sufficient for his time? Should God send Jonah again? Similar to my first argument, we should balance whom God is working through (both being objects and subjects of mission) in missional relationships and trust God will transform us all to become more like Him.
Cardoza-Orlandi, Carlos F. Mission: An Essential Guide. Abingdon. 2002.