Have you ever shown up at an event and found everybody was really dressed up, except you? Or perhaps someone showed up at the door of your home unexpectedly and you were not properly dressed to answer the door. That's an awkward feeling!

If Jesus were to knock on our door today and invite us to the Annual Missions Banquet, would we be dressed and ready to go? Would our churches show up at the event grossly underdressed or well suited for the occasion?  What do you think of Dr. Johnson’s take on this question?

I see African American mission efforts in a light similar to that of the narcissistic emperor from Hans Christian Anderson’s tale who hired a tailor to make him some fine clothes. Everyone in his fiefdom was afraid to speak against this ruler. His tailor weaved him a fine suit of clothes made of nothing. The emperor was very impressed by his fine figure, and went on to parade his naked frame in public completely oblivious of his nakedness. … No one would dare tell him he was naked except one bold little boy. This brought much shame of the emperor, but it did awaken him to his brazen, egotistical ways. The black church in America, like the emperor, has no clothes when it comes to mission work overseas (Making the Blind Man Lame, Dr. Michael Johnson, p. 19).

 As an African American missionary, Dr. Johnson has great reason for this perspective. Over his many years of missionary service as a surgeon in Kenya, the folks on the mission field keep asking him, “Where are the African American brothers?” 

I have been to lots of African American churches of various denominations. And I know that we know how to dress up and look good for service. But, when it comes to Great Commission service, do we have our swagger going on, as the young people say these days, or are we underdressed?