The Indigenous Church

By: Melvin L. Hodges

Hodges has some tremendous material in toward the back of this little book in which he summarizes the missionary’s ministry to the indigenouss church.

Here is the summary of what he says:
1. The missionary is primarily a planter of churches. This includes two phases: evangelizing the lost, teaching the new Christians, and training national leadership.

2. “The missionary is a temporary factor in any local area, and he should build the church in such a way that it will be able to continue after he is gone.” He should not make himself the indispensable part of the church. He should not make everything rise and fall on himself. “Make the church the center.”

3. The missionary should not allow himself to become bogged down with the routine of maintaining the work, but seek to occupy new fields. He cannot expect every detail of evangelism and organization to be worked out perfectly before he relinquishes the direct oversight.

4. “The missionary should refuse to occupy a position that a national can fill. He should avoid becoming tied down to a local pastorate, but keep free for the work of extension. He should count it a triumph when he is able to place upon the shoulders of national leaders the responsibilities which he has been carrying.”

5. “The missionary should not be jealous of his own authority or position, but be willing for others to take the lead. If the national church has produced leaders who can fill the offices in the work, the missionary should not object to their taking office; nay, he should insist that they do so.”

6. “There is undoubtedly a danger that the missionary may withdraw too soon from the work.” But there is also the danger that he may fail to withdraw at the proper time. A withdrawel is too soon when the missionary leaves the FIELD before he has provided for the teaching and leadership that are vital to the indigenous church.”

****”Failure to withdraw at the proper time breeds discontent and dwarfs the national Christian leadership. It also holds the missionary in that one district when he could have moved on to a fruitful pioneer ministry.”*****

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