News and Views
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON MISSIONS
What comes to mind when you hear the word "missions"? Do you think of the traditional "mission" outreach of the last couple centuries which has been white people going out from the areas of western, nominally Christian, countries to the other peoples of the world? Do you think of individuals all around the world reaching out to friends and neighbours to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them? Do you think of one or more of the many agencies trying to bring health care, education, clean water, and a higher standard of living to "third world" countries in the name of Jesus? Do you think of itinerant ministers travelling to the towns and villages of their own people to share the Gospel with them? As you consider these different types of "mission" work, which do you think are most effective, and why?
Over the holidays, I read "Revolution in World Missions" by K.P. Yohannan with its account of the burgeoning mission movement within the peoples of India and within the 10/40 window, and the creation of the organization "Gospel for Asia". When I checked publication dates, I was surprised to find that this is not a new book, but originally published in 1986, and surprised that I had not heard of it earlier. However, it does fit with what I have been learning of the fantastic growth of the Christian church throughout Asia in recent years. The purpose of the book is to describe the effectiveness, efficiency, and economy of spreading the Gospel through the work of national missionaries working with their own people where they know the culture and the language and are one with them. It also emphasizes the need to clearly communicate the Gospel message, noting that the social gospel of helping people is not effective in winning people to a living relationship to God through Jesus Christ. An example is that across India there are many hospitals established by mission groups, but there are no Christian churches in the communities around the hospitals. Obviously, healing bodies without a clear presentation of the Gospel message does not save souls for eternity. At the same time, a better lifestyle results from accepting Jesus and living for Him.
Yohannan describes the poverty and deprivation many of these indigenous missionaries experience as they selflessly give of themselves to win their own people to Christ. He compares the huge amounts spent in North America on church buildings with the minimal amounts that make a huge difference to the families of these missionaries and to their ability to contact even more people for Jesus. He challenges the North American church to use its resources in ways that maximize the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Few of us have large amounts to give, and none of us want to give in wasteful ways, so it is wise for us to research the various groups to which we consider giving, and to clarify our thinking as to what we want our giving to accomplish. If we want our giving to help bring about maximum growth in the Kingdom of Heaven, we will be wise to consider supporting direct indigenous missions such as Gospel for Asia, one of the Canadian ministries which supports indigenous ministries such as Intercede International, radio ministries using nationals to broadcast the Gospel in the same areas such as Far East Broadcasting or Trans World Radio, or ministries such as the Bible Societies or the Gideons who help make Scriptures available for the indigenous missionaries to use and distribute. As these and related organizations work more and more closely together, the world wide harvest for Jesus will come flooding in.
other articlesTHE GREATNESS OF GOD
Christianity Is A Relationship
HAPPY EASTER CELEBRATE!
Experiencing God’s Family
FAIRY TALE FANTASY AND FACT
One Person Making A Difference
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON MISSIONS
God Is So Great
RESOLUTIONS AND CHANGE
The Wonder Of Jesus Coming
WHAT IS TRUTH?
HYPE VERSUS TRUTH AND REASON
IDENTITY IN CHRIST