spontaneous expansion


“Even if the supply of men and funds from Western sources was unlimited and we could cover the whole globe with an army of millions of foreign missionaries and establish stations thickly all over the world, the method would speedily reveal its weakness, as it is already beginning to reveal it.

The mere fact that Christianity was propagated by such an army, established in foreign stations all over the world, would inevitably alienate the native populations, who would see in it the growth of the domination of a foreign people. They would see themselves robbed of their religious independence, and would more and more fear the loss of their social independence.

Foreigners can never successfully direct the propagation of any faith throughout a whole country. If the faith does not become naturalized and expand among the people by its own vital power, it exercises an alarming and hateful influence, and men fear and shun it as something alien. It is then obvious that no sound missionary policy can be based upon multiplication of missionaries and mission stations. A thousand thousand would not suffice; a dozen might be too many.”

Roland Allen The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes that Hinder It (1927)

Roland Allen recommended that missionaries adopt the methods of the Apostle Paul in doing mission work. These methods he set forth as:

1. Begin the work in strategic centers of population and influence.
2. Do not aim at any particular class.
3. Do not take money from the people to whom you are ministering at the time.
4. Don’t take money from other churches to give to the mission church.
5. Do not administer local church funds.
6. Make the churches self-supporting from their inception.
7. Preach a simple doctrine as Paul did.
8. Organize the churches in a simple New Testament pattern.
9. Encourage self-discipline on the part of the new churches.

“The facts are these: St. Paul preached in a place for five or six months and then left behind him a church, not indeed free from the need of guidance, but capable of growth and expansion. For example, according to Ramsay, St. Paul preached in Lystra for about six months on his first missionary journey, then he ordained elders and left for about eighteen months. Professor Ramsay calculates that St Paul did not stay in Thessalonica more than five months, and he did not visit the place again for over five years, yet he writes to ‘the church of the Thessalonians’ and speaks of it as being on the same footing as ‘the churches of God in Judea.’ At Corinth St. Paul spent a year and a half at his first visit and then did not go there again for three or four years, but he wrote letters as to a fully equipped and well-established church”

(Roland Allen, Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? p. 84).

What do missionaries do? by Michael Griffths

Western Funding for National Workers: Let the Buyer Beware

Will Money Solve Africa’s Development Problems?

No. In fact, after fifty years of trying and $600 billion worth of aid-giving, with close to zero rise in living standards in Africa, I can make the case for “No” pretty decisively. Aid advocates talk about cheap solutions like the 10-cent oral rehydration salts that would save a baby dying from diarrheal diseases, the 12-cent malaria medicine that saves someone dying from malaria, or the $5 bed nets that keep them from getting malaria in the first place.

Yet despite the aid money flowing, two million babies still died from diarrheal diseases last year, more than a million still died from malaria, and most potential malaria victims are still not sleeping under bed nets.

Clearly, money alone does not solve problems… (for more click link)

  1. November 27, 2015 at 7:59 AM

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