Not all followers of Christ are able to travel abroad as missionaries, yet God has gifted every believer for a role in the Great Commission. In today’s rapidly-changing world, one effective way for Christians to reach into every people group is to partner with national believers who are leading their own ministries in their own cultural contexts.
Indigenous missionaries can often be far more effective than traditional Western missionaries in hard-to-reach and limited-access countries. For example:
- Christians throughout Asia distribute gospel booklets in languages that have no other Scripture,
- believers in Myanmar host the country’s largest theological library,
- and Indian peanut vendors pass out gospel tracts during their everyday jobs.
Perhaps you are looking for ways your church can partner with ministries overseas among unreached people groups. North Americans can join God’s work by coming alongside a national partner to pray, give, or serve. For example:
- You can pray for children to find new life in Christ after being rescued from the red light district.
- You could donate money so that an orphanage director in Haiti has what he needs to keep 200 kids off the dangerous streets.
- Or you could train national pastors digitally or in-person so they can in turn raise up more leaders to spread the gospel.
In Scripture, a desire to partner with national churches and believers overseas characterized even the Apostle Paul’s ministry. God is still using national partnership today. God works when like-minded believers bring together their own gifts and resources across cultures to work toward a common gospel goal.
We believe the goal of healthy missions is to see thriving national churches expand and for the missionary to shift from the “pioneer” mentality into a “partner” mentality over time as indigenous believers mature.