Missionaries can forget to win souls
It goes without saying that missionaries should know how to win souls to the Lord. Sadly, many missionaries don’t know how to do this glorious work. They have all of the “head” knowledge required to do it, but they don’t actually know how to do it themselves. They are solely involved in the teaching/administrative/logistical part of the ministry and not the actual leading of souls to Christ. You would think that missionaries would know how to do this, but my experience of being on the field is much different. I have seen missionaries who concentrated only in learning the language. One missionary I met had been studying the language for almost 20 years without even trying to lead one soul to Christ. That’s what he had to show for all of that labor. This in and of itself is not the problem, the problem is that he didn’t even try.
Many missionaries get so caught up into providing humanitarian help for the people that they forget to actually ask them about their spiritual state. Some provide health services (dentist, doctor, nurses, etc), but never even ask someone about their spiritual condition. I have seen missionaries establish wonderful orphanages, and do a great good for the orphans, but ignore their salvation. I have seen missionaries distribute Bibles and have baptism services, but never even lead one soul to Christ. It does very little good to take care of people’s physical needs and ignore their eternal destiny.
As far as God is concerned, there is NO closed country on the earth. The entire world is open. Wherever there are people, there are souls to be saved. There is never any excuse for missionaries to ignore telling people the gospel. Wherever you are when God brings people to cross your path in life, there are souls to be saved.
Administrative and humanitarian work can chew up much of the time that a Missionary has. A balance must be found; he must never lose sight of the purpose of following God’s calling to bring the message of salvation to the people. There will always be humanitarian needs on the earth. There will always be another village that needs a well; another family that needs a goat. Once you begin doing this kind of work under the guise of “missionary,” more people with needs will flock unto you. Jesus said, “…ye have the poor with you always…” (Mark 14:7)
It is good to do these kind of things for the people. It only becomes bad when this kind of work consumes you to the point that you neglect the gospel. This is why many missionaries have little experience in leading anyone to the Lord.