The New Faces of Missions
Dr. Kevin Callahan
(President of IPM)
A paradigm shift is taking place in missions. During the 20th century, most believers assumed that the best person to evangelize Africans was a missionary from North America. They thought that the best person to reach Asians or Latinos for Christ was a missionary from North America. Many believers are changing their minds!
The leaders of IPM, and many churches that support IPM, are convinced that the best person to evangelize any people group is someone from that people group or someone from a nearby culture. Greece was evangelized in the first century by Greeks, not by foreign missionaries (see I Thessalonians Chapter 1). IPM focuses on Africans reaching Africans, Asians reaching Asians, Arabs reaching Arabs, and Latinos reaching Latinos.
While we may mourn the end of a great missionary era, an era in which we were the leaders in world evangelization, Christians in North America must realize that the best is yet to come. Each paradigm shift that has taken place in modern missions history has resulted in more missionaries and more effective church planting. The new missionaries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America will plant many times the number of churches we North Americans planted during the last century, and they will do it better and faster. Best of all, they will do it in places where Americans cannot go. S. Haokip, IPM missionary from India, has planted six churches in the space of six years in southeastern Nepal, a country where American church planters cannot serve.
Many of the missionaries needed to evangelize large parts of the world are already on the field. They already understand the culture. They already speak the language. (Many of them speak three or four languages used in their region of the world.) But they need to be trained and sent into the field. IPM, through its Education Department, partners with more than 20 Bible colleges, seminaries, and institutes to train the future missionary force on their own soil in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Missionaries from the United States are needed to teach at the Bible college level. IPM has openings for both short-term teachers and for career Bible college professors on the mission field. You can have a part in training the new faces of missions, those who will take the gospel to the far corners of the globe.
Not only is God raising up missionaries from countries that North Americans have always considered “the mission field”, but God is also raising up new mission boards in other parts of the world. IPM partners with indigenous missions including Amazon Baptist Mission (Peru), AWBM (Lebanon), Solid Rock Baptist Missions (Ghana), Fundamental Baptist Mission (Cote D’Ivoire-Ivory Coast), Antioch Ministry (Chile), ROHM (Myanmar), Logos Baptist Mission (Bolivia), and others.
Many of the people needed to preach the gospel around the world are available—and they are available now! If we fail to take advantage of the human resources currently available in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, it may well be the greatest failure in missions history.
Message from Our President
“After almost 2000 years, the task of missions remains the same: establishing indigenous local churches whose purpose is to develop mature disciples of Christ all over the world. Though God has not called us to a different task, missions history demonstrates that He continually calls different people from different parts of the world to the forefront of that task.
For over 25 years, God has privileged IPM to partner with some of the new faces that the Lord of the Harvest is now using to reach new places. Partnering with these new faces is both biblical in theory and effective in practice. As God uses and blesses this method of missions work, it is my prayer that He will also use and bless you as one who prayerfully and financially support it.”
© Copyright Rev. Kevin M. Callahan, D.D. 2008 All rights reserved.