Home > Uncategorized > Planting Churches in the 10/40 Window

Planting Churches in the 10/40 Window

Throw a dart at any one of the 50 plus countries of the 10/40 Window and you will find the “poorest of the poor” and those living with the lowest standard of living on the planet. Look closer and you will find some who have had a Gospel witness for more than 100 years like Turkey (99.8% of the Turkish population is Muslim) and Saudia Arabia (100%) Now ask yourself: “How can they still remain less than 1% Christian?”

How can this be?

Or examine the lack of any real indigenous movements in large numbers anywhere in the Muslim world. I suggest to you it is because the Western missionaries reproduced what they knew – i.e. planted the whole flower pot and not just the gospel seed – in two critical areas

1. Church Structure

Typical Western church vs. Typical 10/40 Window needs

Big buildings vs. Low profile- “house church” style
Big budgets vs. Low budgets- “poorest of the poor”
Highly trained, professional clergy vs. Low entry level for leaders
(i.e. Pastor as CEO) vs. (i.e. working elders)
Lack of Holy Spirit power vs. Fear of demons and in need of healing

2. Western World View vs. Eastern World View

Western world-view (and thereby its influence on western theology) is dominated with a “guilt/innocence” paradigm, with a focal point on being “right and wrong”. This comes from the Roman/Greek world-view in which it was birthed. The gospel, therefore, that we speak around the globe has a prevailing tone of legal terms and logic: justice, sin, guilt, and redemption. The foundation of this paradigm can be seen in the early church fathers. For example:

“Tertullian [b. 160 AD] the early church father who first developed a code of systematic theology, was a lawyer steeped in Roman law. Using his understanding of law, and the need for justice, guilt, and redemption, he laid the basis for Christian systematic theology, as it would develop in the west.” Roland Muller

1040-51.jpgThe Eastern world-view is dominated by a “honor/shame” paradigm, with a focal point on “protecting shame”. Christianity as it grew in the East developed differently from its Western cousins. Eastern theologians did not use “Roman law” as a vehicle for interpreting the gospel. To this day, in most Muslim countries and communities telling a lie is not wrong if your honor is held intact. The greater person is one who protects his honor than the one who tells the truth.

Unless the missionary communities wrestle with this “honor and shame vs. guilt and innocence” paradigm, I fear that 100 years from now men and women will still be lamenting the lack of success in reaching all nations for Jesus.

Yours for the least in the Kingdom,

Jeff G
% of the population is Muslim
Algeria 99%
Morocco 99%
Somalia 100%
Bahrain 100%
Kuwait 100%
Oman 99%
Yemen 99.9%

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Lee
    April 15, 2009 at 1:38 AM

    I whole-heartedly agree. I’ve spent the last 2 summers in Istanbul, Turkey and experienced the same paradigm barriers.
    Our organization actually highlighted two additional prevalent worldviews: Clean/Unclean (Hinduism) and Fear/Power (Africa/South America). If we don’t make efforts to look outside the paradigm we were born into, we won’t be able to communicate the gospel effectively!

  2. Mohammed Reshad
    April 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    I whole heartedly agree,I have spent the last 25years on this window.I am a founder and Director of Tesfa Ten Forty Window Evangelical Ministries – /T T F W E M / in Ethiopia and horn of africa.We work officially and secretly. In this window we plant the church in SIX/6/ ways.YOU ARE WELL COME TO ASK any unclear information. Let us keep in touch !GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR MINISTRIES ! Mohammed Reshad

  1. January 29, 2011 at 8:48 PM

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