couch-coach What is it about the Olympic Games that suddenly turn us into Couch Coaches and Sofa Judges? We may never have seen gymnastics, pole vaulting, or aerial skiing live, let alone attempted the sport ourselves, yet if you listen to our commentary you’d think we were the world experts on the subject.

“That pole was angled 10 degrees too high.”

“She really should have received an extra 0.7 for that last backward somersault.”

I’ve noticed that we also slip into this mode with Idol, The X Factor, So You Think You Can Dance, and Next Top Model shows – suddenly we are the authority. I don’t know why we fall into this trap, but maybe it’s because we want to justify all that time we spend on our couches, sofas and lounges.

I was blessed to sit under the ministry of Pastor Jack Haynes for a few years. This man of God is a huge advocate for missions, and he taught us that as a Christian, you go or you send the gospel to the world. Through the ministry of Compassion I have discovered I can be a Missionary on the Couch.

While sitting on my blue couch I can make a donation to a children’s ministry in Burkina Faso. Leaning on my green, blue and purple dotted cushion I can pray for children, families and church workers in Thailand. Add a maroon stable-table to my lap and I can write words of love and encouragement to two awesome young men in El Salvador.

There in one place, I can “send” through financially supporting the work of Compassion, and I can “go” through letters and prayers.

Each time we write to our sponsored children we have the awesome privilege and opportunity to share God’s Word with them. We have the chance to do the work of a missionary – take the gospel to another place and culture. The chance is there to share Jesus, or to talk about the weather and our latest expensive holiday once again, the choice is ours.

So go on, take time today to be a Missionary on the Couch. It’s comfortable and it’s fun.

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  1. Cheri Duchrow
    Mar 30, 2011
    at 7:46 am

    Love it! Having a Compassion Sunday this Sunday and these thoughts will be handy ones to share!

    • Mar 30, 2011
      at 3:11 pm

      I’m so glad you’ve been inspired :) I pray your Compassion Sunday goes well!

    • Mar 30, 2011
      at 3:54 pm

      Awesome! You may also like to check out what people have been saying on Compassion’s Facebook site about this as there are great comments there too.

      All the best with Compassion Sunday :)

  2. Mar 30, 2011
    at 8:46 am

    such practical advice – thanks!

    • Mar 30, 2011
      at 3:11 pm

      My pleasure! It’s amazing what we are accomplishing if we just stop and consider it for a moment.

  3. Mar 30, 2011
    at 9:25 am

    I wondered for a long time what God wanted me to do. Did he want me to GO somewhere, or go into full-time ministry. But the more I prayed, the more God impressed on me the need to be a missionary to those around me – in my workplace; in my community and in my church. Doing THAT allows me to earn a good salary that allows me to support those that are called to GO, and supporting our seven Compassion kids allows me to travel the world vicariously through their lives. I’m a couch-missionary when it comes to overseas, but not locally :) [I still want to travel and do missions "stuff", but it's now in relation to Compassion and the kids. :) ]

    • Mar 30, 2011
      at 3:14 pm

      That’s awesome Murray! God’s plan for us is always more rewarding than our plan for ourselves. I’m sure that your impact locally and globally is greater than if you had GONE somewhere.

    • Mar 31, 2011
      at 1:23 am

      This is a good point. As a matter of fact, I would discourage people from becoming a missionary in another country, if they aren’t first effective and fruitful in their own country. Besides that how can they tell people to do what they did, if they haven’t done it first.

      Also, I really like the article, because the amazing thing with Compassion is that you can have a huge direct impact on people outside. You can speak the Word of God into these children’s lives. And the children listen to the sponsors, many times even more than they listen to their tutors. The sponsor is the expert from out of town. Your letters can have a huge impact on the children. So, use your letters to build them up in Christ. Also, the letters have such a far bigger impact than just the child. The children read them to their friends and even the people that handle the letter on the way to the child, it has an impact on. A friend of mine is a translator of the letters and his wife got saved, because of what the sponsors wrote in the letters to the children.

      Some sponsors don’t know what to write to their children. Even if they would just go on line and cut and paste a Scripture passage to the child and tell the child they love them. If you do that once a month, you’d be amazed what 5 minutes of your time can do for the Kingdom of God. Remember Love Builds!!! You can just love that child and he/she will grow amazingly.

      • Apr 2, 2011
        at 4:55 pm

        It really doesn’t take that much time to write to a child or pray for them and yet the impact is huge. As for what to write – there are numerous wonderful ideas about what to write on both this blog and at Our Compassion that it would be hard to run out of ideas! I love that Compassion provides such an amazing channel for God to use us in the lives of children, and as you said, their families, around the world. And, we get blessed by the letters, prayers and love our children send us!

  4. Mar 30, 2011
    at 11:45 am

    Our letter-writing ministry to our sponsored children is far more important than the money we send each month. As we write to our sponsored children every month, we are creating a personal connection and we have a platform to minister to, not just the children, but their families as well. While we may not “go” in body, our words go a long way to encourage, to teach, to lift and to love. ♥

    My passion has become inspiring sponsors to make the most of their sponsorship by dedicating time and effort to the letter-writing ministry. If anyone is struggling with those letters, please stop by my blog for some ideas! (Click my name in blue!)

    • Apr 2, 2011
      at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Michelle – letter writing is a ministry. And we do need to encourage each other in that ministry, just as we should in other areas of ministry.

  5. Debbie
    Mar 30, 2011
    at 12:58 pm

    For those of us who sponsor multiple kids, I think it’s gone beyond ‘comfortable and fun.’ I don’t think God has called me to full-time missionary work, even though yes, we are to be missionaries all the time to those around us. Being an active member of OurCompassion, I know there are many of us who are now sacrificing time as writing multipes takes time, our Compassion budget no longer allows for some of the ‘fun’ things in life that we used to do, and our free time is now taken up by writing our kids, and going on OurCompassion and praying for and encouraging others. For some of us, this is a real ministry, and not just an excuse to sit back on the couch and take the easy way out. I have total respect for those people out in the field actually working with the kids, but ‘couch potatoes’ are still needed.

    • Apr 2, 2011
      at 5:02 pm

      It’s great to see you so committed to this ministry Debbie! We need more people like you :) It does take time, but like you, I feel it is time well spent. Can you imagine how much joy there will be in heaven one day when we meet all our Compassion kids and their families and friends? This is a ministry that has eternal impact – much better way to spend our time, our life, than watching tv or so many other hobbies.

  6. Faye Spencer
    Mar 30, 2011
    at 2:10 pm

    I loved hearing about Erlan’s testimony at devotions (Australia) yesterday and how important his sponsor’s letters and gifts were for him to have hope and encouragement, become a Christian and grow in his faith. I really need to pray more for my sponsored child and will be praying more about what to write and how it is received. Considering myself as a missionary to her is exciting!

  7. Richard
    Mar 30, 2011
    at 7:11 pm

    Well done, thought provoking. We can be a witness for Christ so easily.

  8. Apr 2, 2011
    at 7:46 am

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Everyone can be a “Missionary on the Couch” or in a chair, or in a bed, or from wherever we are. Thanks again!

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