“Crossing an ocean doesn’t make one a missionary” has become an axiom in missionary circles. I’d like to add a corollary that I think is just as self-evident: “Crossing an ocean doesn’t make one a church-planter.”
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Since there are probably more opinions about politics than there are people to hold them, any discussion of politics is bound to be controversial. But the Bible peels away the cultural veneer missionaries sometimes mistake for Christianity and forces them to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, rather than some transient political ideal.
A great deal of heat—to say nothing of light—has been generated by the insistence in some circles that the church should concentrate on the responsive elements of society.
Two articles in this issue are about church-planting and church growth. Ron Fisher makes a strong appeal for better training and more experience in the U. S. David Pickard says one problem encountered in moving into responsive areas is that the missionaries don’t know how to win souls.
The 1971 Green Lake Conference convened to identify points of tension in church-mission relations and to develop guidelines to assist the mission boards in charting future paths.