Guest / Limited Access /
A Native (American) Approach to Foreign Missions

Four years ago, missionary Doug Millar was frustrated by the lackluster amount of conversions in his Mayan village of Chan Chen, Mexico. Despite a steady stream of short-term mission teams, next to no one in the village had become a Christian.

Ministry partner Randy Carruth suggested a solution: Invite Native Americans.

In March 2013, after three such trips by Carruth's I Am Able Ministries, 25 to 30 Mayans attended the village's first worship service. Less than a year later, Millar's church has grown to 200.

It's not an isolated case. With many Native American communities reporting signs of revival and church growth, missions leaders are increasingly trying to send these missionaries to other indigenous groups worldwide.

"Native people typically are not unfamiliar with pain and suffering and injustice, with what it looks like to be poor," said Josh Charette, a church planter and pastor in Montana who is half Turtle Mountain Chippewa. "This gives them an incredible platform, and they are typically welcomed into a lot of places Anglo people are not."

Last fall, the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board brought together 50 Native American pastors and leaders for evangelism training in New Mexico. Similar conferences took place in February and March. These gatherings are the first of their kind, says Carruth, since they are trying not just to recruit Native groups but to approach missions and leadership development from a Native perspective.

Carruth has helped teams of Native Americans take short-term mission trips to indigenous groups in Mexico and Canada, and has requests from Chile and Australia. But they're working outside indigenous communities, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedStrategic Evangelism: The Power of an Invitation
Strategic Evangelism: The Power of an Invitation
Our God pursues the lost and so should we.
TrendingThree Views: Would Jesus Hang Out in a Strip Club?
Three Views: Would Jesus Hang Out in a Strip Club?
Testing the boundaries of outreach evangelism.
Editor's PickBehold Now 'The Behemoth'
Behold Now 'The Behemoth'
Introducing our new biweekly mix about a big God and his big world.
Comments
Christianity Today
A Native (American) Approach to Foreign Missions
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.