A Confused Mind Says No

An Interview with Cafe 1040’s Executive Director

Chuck: Recently I was invited to attend a seminar at a church for people considering becoming missionaries. The church does this event annually to help its members navigate the process “from the church pew to the overseas location.” Friends, this is a treacherous journey. I have heard many missionaries say “getting there was harder than being there!”  

Interviewer: Why would the process of becoming an overseas missionary be so difficult?

Chuck:  I have been pondering this question for over 17 years. I have a lot of research and theories on why, but whenever someone asks me why I think the process is so treacherous, I realize my answer is as convoluted as the process.

During this conference, one of the attendees said something so profound yet so simple. His five words allowed me to finally articulate why so few devoted followers of Jesus make it to the mission field. He stated, “A confused mind says, “No!”

Yes! Yes it does! This brought such clarity to many arguments I have with my wife, my children, even myself! When my mind is confused, the safest, most reliable thing to do is to say “No!” to shut it down.

And that, in the most simple terms, is why most lovers of our Savior never even attempt the journey and why even fewer make it to the field.

Interviewer: That definitely puts words to why so many people give up before making it overseas. Can you give us an example to think through?

Chuck: Allow me to elaborate. What would your life look like "day in and day out" if you and your family were to move to Saudi Arabia as missionaries? You likely have no idea. Most say “No!” at this step in the process. They shut it down. Full stop.

But if you could possibly conceive of your family living in Saudi Arabia, how would you get there? How would you get from your church in America to serving as a missionary among Muslims? You probably have no idea where to begin. So, you google “missionary to Saudi Arabia,” which yields 9,280,000 results. Then you clarify your search with “how to become a missionary to Saudi Arabia,” which yields a much more manageable list of 484,000 results. And then you stop. Your mind is confused. You say, “No!” Step two has paralyzed many from moving forward, so they don’t.

I’ve been watching this for nearly 20 years. A confused mind says, “No!”