Romans 1:16 says that the Gospel is God’s power, not ours. It is God’s power because it is about the One that he gave for our salvation. The Gospel is Christ’s story and God’s power and we preach and proclaim it. That is offensive to some because I am convinced that some missionaries are on a power trip and their motivation for missions is about them. See what I am willing to suffer for Jesus? – I will go somewhere hot where I have to drink bottled water. I will go somewhere exotic and carry my Bible and bring the poor beknighted heathen my personal testimony about how I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I am not trying to be nasty but I have heard some pretty pathetic reasons that people want to go on a mission trip, or be a missionary. Listen to what Paul says – 1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion ; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
The Gospel is God’s power and if you came to faith it was not because of your own reason or strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit and to make your faith the cause of mission work is pretty shabby and paltry. I would rather not send someone over seas who wants to “share their faith”. I would rather send someone who wants to witness to Christ the crucified. So here I am, entering into the handwringing about motivation and mission. It gets to be like eating potato chips – once you start it is hard to stop.