The Power of Long Ten Thousand Hours

by Doug Gehman, President of Globe International

In March 2020 a new book came out called “Before You Quit – Everyday Endurance, Moral Courage and the Quest for Purpose.” I am the author, but I can’t take credit for the idea. That was Moody Publishers. I asked what they wanted me to write about, Duane Sherman said, “You need to write a book about perseverance.”

I guess he thought my story had enough of that quality and quantity to fill a book. So, I began writing… again. This was my fourth book. Writing a book about any topic takes perseverance. Book writing is not for the faint of heart, or the sporadically inspired. It is born of inspiration. But it finds its wings in perseverance: patient navigation through the inevitable valleys of tedium, discouragement and difficulty.

Whether you are a Bible teacher, an evangelist, a pastor, or a missionary, there are skills and knowledge that are fundamental to success but are only acquired over a long, difficult road.  Be honest. What do you expect from them? What must they change to “fit in” to your life and make you comfortable enough to relax when you are with them?

  • I assume you expect they will learn to speak English fluently.
  • Even better, they should understand local slang.
  • They should be able to tell or hear an American joke, and “get it.”
  • They should enjoy American football and baseball.
  • What if they wanted to share their religious beliefs with you? How long before you would have any interest in having THAT conversation?

We do a great injustice to people when we are not willing to make the same investment of time and effort into fitting into THEIR CULTURE and LIFE. Gaining the skills to have meaningful conversations with them, so they are no longer objects – even objects of our kindness – but rather have become close friends.

Do I really need to invest ten thousand hours of work to make a real cross-cultural friend?  Jesus moved to our town. He invested way more than ten thousand hours. He spent thirty years in Nazareth before starting his work. Then, for three years he had unbelievable success. Wow!

If we hope to change the world, we too must be willing to move into the neighborhood, settle into a life there, and invest everything into our new home and life and people. 

Read More About Doug and perseverance in ministry by visiting his website