This is an article from the November-December 2000 issue: Crossing Boundaries

MF Behind the Scenes

MF Behind the Scenes

The Unfinished Task: It's all about overcoming barriers

No matter how close we are to someone racially, linguistically, culturally, or religiously, communication is always a risky business. Whenever we seek to communicate we also risk being misunderstood. Just ask any married couple. But as the linguistic, cultural and religious distance grows between ourselves and others, so also does the difficulty in communication. In order to communicate effectively we must understand what is getting in the way and overcome it.

Likewise, in the area of world evangelization we must be about the hard work of discovering the barriers to understanding, acceptance, ownership and reproduction of the Gospel within each people, along with a commitment to overcoming all barriers. This is essential to establishing an indigenous church planting movement within every people. Only by establishing these movements in each people group can every person have reasonable access to the Gospel.

In this issue we feature radio as one solution to the barriers of language, illiteracy and political/religious opposition. See the section starting on page 10. Other tools like Gospel Recordings and the Jesus Film, which we have featured in previous issues, are also working to cross these Gospel barriers.

While all of these tools have an important role to play in communicating the Gospel, we must also recognize that how these and other tools are used and strategically applied in each people will determine whether the ultimate goal of an indigenous, growing church planting movement is achieved in every people.

Even with the best tools there are many barriers to ownership and reproduction of Biblical faith which must be overcome. The murderous atrocities in Rwanda a few years ago was a wake-up call for the church and its mission efforts. Rwanda was known as a "Christian country" with a majority of people having heard and "accepted the Gospel." They had prayed to receive Christ, but did they take real ownership of the Gospel message so that it changed their world view and how they treated others? We must be courageous to look at our methods and strategies and see where we have made mistakes. This is what we work to do in each issue of MF.

One of the barriers to true Gospel ownership and reproduction is the dependency on outsiders and their resources, both financial and personal. Because it's so important to overcome this barrier, we include an article on the subject in each issue. Please see the wonderful article by Chris Little starting on page 25. It is amazing how simple things can cause so much trouble.

Only when people take ownership of the Gospel in a culturally relevant way so that it changes the way they think and act including sharing their faith naturally with their friends and family can we say that we have successfully made the Gospel indigenous to a people. This must be our ultimate goal for every people.

Have You Said "Yes" to MF?

For all of you who have not yet sent in your reply card telling us if you want MF or not, please send it in today. Just check a box and drop your card in the mail today.

If you are one of those who have already sent in your card marked, "Yes," then we have a question for you, "Can we count on your financial help to spread the vision of reaching the unreached peoples to new people across the world. We need all of our readers, who are financially able, to send in a gift of $15 or more. Please take a moment now, find the reply envelope in this issue, make out your check for $15 or more to Mission Frontiers and drop it in the mail today. Your gift with help us reach new people with the vision of reaching the unreached peoples. We cannot do it without you.


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