WHITE PAPER: Mass Conversion a strategy not a Coincidence

via http://gaurav-awake.blogspot.com/2008/02/white-paper-mass-conversion-strategy.html published on March 2, 2008


By Panchajanya



Information is Key to Victory. Be Aware and Beware


This paper was written after researching several online articles available
in evangelical websites. The objective of the paper is to prove that Mass
conversion is a well though out strategy and is not a coincidence as it is
being thought today. Please note each and every piece of information is taken
directly from Missionary literature and IS NOT MY CREATION.


Older Methodology: Mission
Station Approach:

In this methodology, They acquired a piece of land, often with great
difficulty. Then the missionary arrives. He and his family worship on Sunday.
They are the first members of that congregation. He learns the language and
preaches the gospel. Through the years a few individual converts are won from
this group. Sometimes its a woman, a man, a boy, a girl who decide to follow
Jesus. Very often, a few employees of the mission become Christian. These may
be masons hired to erect the buildings, helpers in the home, rescued persons or
orphans. In due time, a church building is erected.

But Missionaries now are not satisfied by the result from such a Approach.
Some of the reasons are

1. Lower Returns: The expectations were often frustrated by
meager response. In the light of the this Professor Latourette writes:


The advanced cultures and faiths of Asia and
North Africa did not yield so readily as did those of the primitive folk,
either to Western civilization or to  Christianity. This was to be
expected. It has usually been characteristic of advanced cultures and their
religions that they have been much slower to disintegrate before an
invading civilization.

2. Rising Nationalism: Missionaries feel that the days in
which the mission stations can exert a major influence on the affairs of
Eastern nations are drawing to a close. The temper of these days in the East is
not that of humbly sitting at the feet of missionary tutors. They feel that
sleeping nations are now awake. Mission schools & Hospitals in Asia and
North Africa no longer have the influence which they once had. For example, Up
till 1945 the Central Provinces of India had not produced a single qualified
doctor. Its university had no standard medical school. The only fully qualified
doctors were a few immigrants from other provinces and missionary doctors from
abroad. But today there are four hundred students in the medical college of its
university. As this flood of physicians flows out over the cities and towns and
eventually the villages of this province, the present near monopoly of the
Christian hospitals is likely to be destroyed.

3. Social Situation: The missionaries feel that Conversion
is not a Accepted norm in society. Each convert, as he becomes a Christian, is
seen by his kin as one who leaves “us” and joins “them.” He leaves our gods to
worship their gods. Thus the Christian cause wins the individual but loses the
family. As a result, conglomerate congregations, made up of converts won in
this fashion,  grow very slowly.


New Methodology: People Movements:

Now they have taken a new approach which they refer as Peoples movement.
According to them, It is a God-designed pattern by which not ones
but thousands
will acknowledge Christ as Lord, and grow into full
discipleship as people after people, clan after clan, tribe after tribe and
community after community are claimed for and nurtured in the Christian faith.
They claim several list of movements in India to back their claim some of them
are Malas and Madigas, the Nagas and Garas, the Mahars and Bhils, and many
others.

Some of the salient aspects of new methodology is as follows:-

1. Aim for a cluster of growing congregations: They now
target a cluster of growing, indigenous congregations every member of which
remains in close contact with his kindred. For example, if they were
evangelizing the taxi drivers of Taipei, then their goal is to win some taxi drivers,
some university professors, some farmers and some fishermen, but rather to
establish churches made up largely of taxi drivers, their wives and children,
and their assistants and mechanics.

2. Concentrate on one people: The principle is that the national
leader or the missionary and his helpers, should concentrate on one people. If
they are going to establish a cluster of growing congregations amongst, let us
say, the Nair people of Kerala then they make all the missionaries and their
helpers  to focus their work among the Nairs. They will proclaim the
gospel to Nairs, saying quite openly to them, “We are hoping that within
your great caste there soon will be thousands of followers of Jesus Christ who
also remain solidly in the Nair community.
” They will, of course, not
worship the old Nair gods, but then plenty of Nairs don’t worship their old
gods. Plenty of Nairs are Communist and ridicule their old gods. Nairs whom God
calls, who choose to believe in Christ, are going to love their neighbors more
than they did before and walk in the light. They will be saved and beautiful
people. They will remain Nairs, while at the same time they become Christians.

3. Donot Differentiate: They are now encouraging converts
to remain with their people The principle is to encourage converts to remain
thoroughly one with their own people in most matters. 

Bishop J. W. Pickett, in his important study Christ’s Way to India’s Heart,
says:


The process of extracting individuals from
their setting in Hindu or Moslem communities does not build a Church. On the
contrary it rouses antagonism against Christianity and builds barriers against
the spread of the Gospel. Moreover, that process has produced many unfortunate,
and not a few tragic results in the lives of those most deeply concerned. It
has deprived the converts of the values represented by their families and
friends and made them dependent for social support to the good life and
restraint on evil impulses upon men and  women, their colleagues in the
Christian faith, with whom they have found it difficult to develop fellowship
and a complete sense of community. It has sacrificed much of the convert’s
evangelistic potentialities by separating him from his People. It has produced
anaemic Churches that know no true leadership and are held together chiefly by
common dependence on the mission or the missionary


 

Now according to them a mere change of name accomplishes nothing.  Thus
a Christward movement within a people can be defeated either by extracting the
new Christians from their society (i.e. by allowing them to be squeezed out by
their non-Christian relatives).

4. Convert in Groups: The principle is to try to get group
decisions for Christ. If only one person decides to follow Jesus do not baptize
him immediately. Say to him, “You and I will work together to lead another
five, or ten, or God willing, fifty of your people to accept Jesus Christ as
Saviour so that when you are baptized, you will be baptized with them.”
Ostracism is very effective against one lone person. But ostracism is weak
indeed when exercised against a group of a dozen.

5. Do not try to change society: Now its seems that
Missionaries donot want to upset the applecart by taking own ageold
institutions. According to them, let  Paul  did not attack all
imperfect social institutions. For example, he did not do away with slavery.
Paul said to the slave, “Be a better slave.” He said to the slave owner, “Be a
kindlier master.”

Reference 

1.  http://www.uscwm.org/mobilization_division/resources/perspectives_reader_pdf’s/B18_McGavran_TheBridges.pdf

2.  http://www.uscwm.org/mobilization_division/resources/perspectives_reader_pdf’s/D19_McG

 

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