SIM International reported that as more missionaries are being established in Africa, Asia and Latin American countries, there is a growing need for more missionaries and less money.
Dr. Steve Straus, U.S. director for SIM international, expressed his concern that Christians in the western-nations are sorting to “checkbook evangelism”, in a statement SIM International issued to Mission Network News, which often reports on evangelistic activities in the world.
“One of the things we want to discourage is…‘checkbook evangelism’…where a church thinks…they…write…checks and send…to missionaries from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and that we don't need to send our own sons and daughters anymore,” said Straus, who emphasized that domestic missionaries more than ever need the spiritual support and assistance of missionaries.
SIM international currently has a network of missions in over 40 countries in South America, Africa and Asia – making a bulk of what missionaries called the 10/40 window where the spread of the gospel has met the strongest resistance.
More than two thirds of the world’s Christian population live in Africa, Asia and Latin America, according to the report.
The recruitment of domestic missionaries is not a new concept in missions. In 1940’s China, famed evangelist John Sung brought thousands to Christ before his early death from health complications resulting from years of exhaustive evangelism-by-foot throughout China’s vast interior.
Gospel for Asia, started by Indian-born evangelist K.P. Yohannan, has long evangelized and recruited locals to preach the gospel in their native-countries.
Straus emphasized that partnering with indigenous missions is perhaps will ensure a bright future for missions.
“We see ourselves in the future as even more a servant of these (indigenous) agencies so that we’re not absorbing them in SIM but rather we’re helping them grow strong and become better and more effective in their role,” explained Straus.