MF Behind the Scenes
Are You Seeking to Find the Best Mission Strategies?
They are coming at us more and more every day. This group or that appeals to us to support this mission strategy or another. But are all mission strategies created equal? Most would say no, but few believers have the guidelines or parameters to know how to evaluate the merits of one mission strategy versus another. There is probably no more complex undertaking than to attempt to make the Gospel indigenous to another people group with a culture very different from our own. But knowing which strategies work best is critical to progress in reaching every people and essential to the wise use of available resources.
This is where Mission Frontiers can help. In each issue, we try to expose you to the mission strategies that work well while warning you against those that have failed. In this respect we are like the "Consumer Reports" of the mission world-an independent voice working to sort through the myriad of strategies vying for your support. Based on years of missiological study and observation, we provide you with our best analysis of which strategies can help in making the Gospel indigenous to a people while always looking for better ones.
In this issue of MF, we are bringing together in one place seven key strategies and opportunities that we feel have great potential for changing the face of world evangelization in the coming years. We call these the "New Horizons in Mission." Some have been mentioned in MF before and some are brand new. We encourage you to take a look at these and evaluate them in relation to what you are already doing and what you could do in the future. I guarantee that you will be hearing more about these strategies in coming issues. The series of articles on the New Horizons starts on page 8.
We believe that a clear understanding of these and other good strategies is essential for the next generation of missionaries. Over the last 20 years we have been very successful in seeing the establishment of a burgeoning frontier mission movement that is growing by leaps and bounds-sometimes out of control.
For us this has been both very exciting and very scary. Scary because thousands of believers all over the world are rushing to get involved but without clear direction or understanding of how best to reach the unreached peoples. Dr. Winter has referred to this as the "Re-Amateurization" of the mission movement. Ben Sells provides a solution to this problem in his article starting on page 16.
Steve Saint, who works among the Huaorani people, showed us in our May-June 98 issue how poor mission strategies can lead to tragic results. On page 36 we feature a conversation between Gary Parker of the mission agency, Mustard Seed, and Glenn Schwartz of World Mission Associates regarding some of the problems raised in Steve Saint's article. For more on this subject, see also Glenn Schwartz's article on page 22 which deals with the mobilizing of local resources.
As you read through this issue, the most basic thing that ties all of these strategies together is that we, like Jesus, are to destroy the works of the devil while at the same time establishing God's kingdom here on earth within every people so that they may glorify Him. Dr. Winter has more to say about this in his editorial and article on pages 2 and 34 respectively. Wouldn't it be wonderful if every follower of Christ chose his occupation, not on the basis of how much money he will make or how much fun it will be, but on how well he is able to accomplish these two great goals for our Lord.
Steve Saint Update
In our May-June 98 issue, we featured Steve Saint and his work with the Huaorani people. We provided a web address whereby people can get more information on his ministry to indigenous peoples called ITEC. His ministry is working to apply appropriate technologies to unreached peoples that need these tools to survive and reach their own with the Gospel. Since the publication of that issue, the web address has changed. Please take note of it. The new address is: www.i-tecusa.org