Doesn’t matter what denomination, covenant, communion of Christianity you subscribe to. In fact, much of what is said here applies to “domestic mission”, “home missions”, “community-based” work as well. These are important questions to consider in evaluation ANY mission support.
I’ve rubbed my boney shoulders with lots of former and current missionaries, been through 2.5 years of cross-cultural training through New Tribes Mission, and have heard of some of the most beautiful examples of the Body of Christ in an indigenous context among people who, just a generation ago, were afraid of the spirits.
Unfortunately, in Papua New Guinea and even among the people group where I work, I’ve witnessed the destruction that untrained, undisciplined missionary-efforts cause on cultures and lives.
Here’s a quick example:
Around our village years ago, 6-8 different denominational “churches” were planted at different times in hopes of saving the nationals from their sins. Without learning the heart language and culture, and hoping to work faster rather than building a solid foundation, they quickly marked national pastors, gave them some Bibles in the simple, baby-talk-like trade language, and claimed to get people “saved.” I’m sure there…
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