INDIGENOUS PEOPLE REACHING THEIR OWN
I return to the subject of missionary work and how we should think of reaching the unreached. With 6,989 people groups around the world who are still unreached with the gospel or have no church with indigenous people speaking their language, we are failing at the Great Commission. We have been led to believe that someone needs to spend years learning a language and culture of a people when God wants to raise up someone in the people group or someone familiar with it to proclaim the gospel.
Roland Allen observed that “Many have realized…that our missionaries must aim at laying a foundation so India will be evangelized by Indians, China by Chinese, Africa by Africans, each country by its own Christians. That means our missionaries must prepare the way for the evangelization of a country (people group) by the free spontaneous activity of their own converts.” (The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and Causes Which Hinder It, page 12).
This method is confirmed by Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians. “The word of the Lord sounded forth from [them] in Macedonia and Achaia” (1 Thessalonians 1:8). Paul and Silas left behind them those who were empowered by the Spirit to reach their own. This movement of God included “a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women” (Acts 17:4). We need to look at the lack of progress in reaching the unreached, return to a biblical model, and be inspired by a God-given example.
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