What is the role of
missionaries in Church Planting Movements?
Dr. David Garrison, Vice President for Global Strategy for the
International Mission Board
the obvious power of God in these Church Planting Movements, some
have questioned whether the role of missionaries has diminished
in this new reality. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
What is required of missionaries in a Church Planting Movement
is not a new role, but rather a return to an old role. Roland Allen's
classic book Missionary
Methods: St. Paul's or Ours makes the case well, that somewhere
along the way, missionaries stopped following a Pauline model and
shifted to a colonial model.
The Pauline missionary role raises up local indigenous leadership
and then moves on to places where the gospel has not yet been sown.
The colonial model stays to rule over the conquered territory rather
than transferring the responsibility, vision, and momentum to new
Christians who don't understand why the same Holy Spirit living
in their hearts is unable to equip them for leadership.
Great missionaries always understood the transitional nature
of their role. John the Baptist initiated this spirit when he said, "He
(Jesus) must become more and more, while I become less and less."
Every Church Planting Movement practitioner recognizes that the
success of the movement requires everything he has to give when
he faces a people group devoid of gospel witness.
However, as the gospel takes root among the people, it may require
even more effort for the missionary to resist leadership roles
and take a backseat to the emerging leaders."
Excerpted from Church
Planting Movements: How God is Redeeming a Lost World
© 2004 by David Garrison
WIGTake Resources, P.O. Box 1268, Midlothian, VA 23113