The failure of the local church

“The best kept secret of mission agencies in our day—speaking ever so broadly–is that the mission force is less equipped for service than the people they serve.” Rollin Grams

Earth boyRollin Grams has written a good article (The loss of Mission)  that outlines some significant problems within evangelical missions today. Tragically, many of the issues he raises are spot on but relatively unknown to those in the churches that have funded these missionary endeavors for decades. Ultimately, the responsibility for many of the failures he outlines in this article lay solely at the feet of the local church which has, for far too long, closed its ears and eyes to problems that it needed to address decades ago. Many of these problems laid the foundation for for some of the most divisive and heartbreaking battles that have erupted within mission organizations in the last few years.  By ignoring these issues for so long, the church has allowed them to grow into the monsters that we are facing today. Here is an outline of the issues addressed in Rollin Grams’ article, it is an article every Christian should read!

  1. Denominations have, by and large, lost the vision for mission.
  2. Independent churches cannot hold the vision of mission by themselves—they cannot hold it intelligently, adequately, accurately, efficiently, or appropriately.
  3. Local churches have lost the vision for mission.
  4. Many churches think that overseas exposure trips are mission work.
  5. Many churches do not want to meet with their missionaries or get to know them well.
  6. Many churches like to collect missionaries like exotic, salt-water fish.
  7. Many churches like to define what the mission should be.
  8. Most mission agencies have lost the vision of mission.
  9. Missionaries have little understanding of the mission of the Church and little training to accomplish this mission.
  10. The approach to financing missions is disconnected to the mission of the Church.

It is time for each of us, as part of the body of Christ, to again become intimately involved with the missionaries we send. Only then will we begin to understand the tragic failures of the past and then hopefully, in repentance, we will seek to bring godly correction so that the Gospel message will not be hindered.


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