This is an article from the January-February 2006 issue: Which Peoples Need Priority Attention?

Read More in the IJFM

Read More in the IJFM

As you can see from the responses above, part of the challenge is identifying clear and consistent definitions of insider movements. If Mission Frontiers readers would like to read more, one good place to continue is with our sister publication, the International Journal of Frontier Missions. In particular, the back issues of 17:1 (2000) all four issues of volume 21 (2004), issues 24:1 and 24:2, and many other articles that can be found on the IJFM Archives, may prove especially helpful. There you’ll find other authors as well as overlapping definitions of insider movements, including the following:

  • Popular movements to Christ that bypass both formal and explicit expressions of the Christian religion (David Garrison).
  • Movements to Jesus that remain to varying degrees inside the social fabric of Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, or other people groups. This faithful discipleship will express itself in culturally appropriate communities of believers who will also continue to live within as much of their culture, including the religious life of the culture, as is biblically faithful. The Holy Spirit, through the Word and through his people, will also begin to transform his people and their culture, religious life, and worldview (Kevin Higgins).
  • Numbers of Muslims who become followers of Christ without changing either their self-perception or their communal identity as Muslims. In such movements, “church planting” is not the introduction of a specific form of organization (no matter how “biblical” it may be) but merely describes the pattern of believers’ relationships that naturally follow existing social structures (Harley Talman).

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