Equipping new indigenous believers is the process of discipling them into effective leaders. The past has often been marked by western missionaries taking many long years developing leaders, and even then, the ‘strings of control’ are rarely cut. Consider the experience of Roland Allen:
“If the first groups of native Christians are not fully equipped to multiply themselves without the assistance of a foreign missionary, they will insist on letting the missionary do all the work. Progress will depend upon his power to provide superintending missionaries for leadership. If the first groups of native Christians are not fully organized Churches which can multiply themselves, they are in bondage. For years, perhaps for generations, they must accept this bondage; but sooner or later they will wake up. I do not see how they can fail to feel resentment.
The equipping of small native congregations of Christians with full power and authority as local churches, would remove most, if not all, of the present causes of trouble. We should stop talking of a native church that takes long years to achieve, or generations of probation by a mission organization. There would be native churches established immediately which all would recognize as native. Without further words we should have proved to all men that we do not preach Christ in order to extend our dominion, but that we desire to be helpers, not lords over other men's souls.”
Roland Allen, Edited by Sherman Driver
It is far better that the native believer quickly learn the power of God through His Word, than see human control through man’s methods.
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