In a previous article in the Evangelical Missions Quarterly (Spring 1965) I attempted to document the nature and extent of cooperation among evangelical missions around the world. That article was concerned exclusively with mission societies, and said nothing of the national churches brought into existence by these missions. What about cooperation among them?
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Three theories about the hereafter hold the ground today.
Up to 1924 the outlook with regard to treating leprosy was nearly hopeless. Our understanding was limited, and treatment seemed only temporarily to halt the progress of the disease and its relentless course toward mutilation, deformity, blindness, and death.
The Latin America Mission in Colombia has been privileged to witness an outpouring of the Spirit of God in recent years that has resulted in a rapid spread of the Gospel. Often this has been entirely apart from missionaries or national pastors, proving that it is a spontaneous work of the Spirit through laymen who have faithfully witnessed to Christ. The undeniable fruits of the Spirit plus the fruits of the preaching of the Gospel have been so evident as to leave no doubt that this has been a movement initiated and blessed by God.
There is a new dimension in missionary recruitment today. Although traditional missionary methods remain valid and cannot be displaced, consideration reveals hopeful new concepts hitherto not possible. The potential usefulness of almost any qualified Christian today in the mission fields of the world brings the question of personal involvement in Christ’s great commission, “Go ye into all the world,” before every Christian.
The preparation of the missionary must be in keeping with the task assigned him. We are compelled, therefore, to define the missionary task from a twofold point of view.