To Multiply Missionaries
The “10/40 window” is an area from 10 degrees south to 40 degrees north of the equator, spanning northern Africa and southern Asia and including the countries of China and India.
It contains 2/3 of the world’s population, but the people are more than 80% unreached with the gospel.
The gospel is spreading rapidly in some areas, mostly by native missionaries. The problem is a lack of training that would increase their effectiveness and doctrinal stability. House churches are led by pastors who have no training and no accountability. Potential native missionaries have had no instruction in evangelism, church development, and doctrine.
Consider this information about India from operationworld.org/indi. The population is over a billion, with 88% unreached by the gospel. “India’s strong philosophical tradition and religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity make adequate training crucial,” but among evangelical churches, there is a trained pastor for every six congregations. Besides organized churches, it’s estimated that 100,000 house groups exist.
Training is urgently needed for pastors of rapidly growing groups and for missionaries to be sent to unreached areas. Most cannot attend Bible college. Neither can we send professors everywhere that they are needed.
In some countries in the 10/40 window, missionaries are not allowed at all. Other countries allow them if they are “undercover,” practicing another vocation while less openly doing missionary work. Permission may become even more difficult.
SGC is producing a curriculum for ministry training consisting of 20 courses designed to be taught locally. The courses are in teaching format and culturally transferable, and almost instantly equip a person to teach others.
Primary languages in India include English and Telugu, but Hindi is by far the most common. SGC curriculum is being written in English, and a mission has sponsored its translation into Telugu.
A partner organization is raising money for the translation and printing of SGC courses in Hindi. Their goal is to establish a center in Asia that is operated by national believers for the training of pastors and missionaries in that part of the world. The courses will spread and be implemented everywhere without the need of an American missionary to keep them going.
The time may come when American missionaries cannot legally serve in places where they serve now. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if 20,000 ministry training courses are circulating among national evangelicals who can reach the unreached people of the region?