Are you like me? Have you thought that all of India could be reached simply by supporting native workers?
If so, we were both wrong.
The book “Revolution in World Missions” set forth the basic premise that India could be reached by Westerners supporting native evangelists. The book has affected the thinking of many missions minded people over the last few decades, some would say for both good and otherwise.
For sure, it has helped many to see why God gives prosperity and blessing; for us to be a blessing to the nations and fulfill the Great Commission.
But on the downside, many in the Global Church began to catch the idea that Instead of going, we should send money to “support the nationals.”
While supporting national church movements is still needed, there is an urgent need for harvest laborers to go to India from other countries.
Most of India’s Evangelicals are located in two main regions
- India has 50 million evangelicals (4% of the population).
- These believers are clustered together in the northeastern and southernmost states.
- Most of India’s population reside in the central and northern states where there is very little Gospel witness.
By comparison, Africa has 360 million evangelicals (35% of the population).
North and South America have 440 million evangelicals (49% of the population).
India’s Evangelicals only speak a few languages
- There are over 1500 language barriers that need to be crossed to effectively communicate the Gospel.
- Only 10% of the languages of India have any Scriptures.
- Indian believers who control Bible societies struggle with accepting the validity of translations in neighboring languages.
“India needs far more cross cultural workers than the Indian churches can provide.”-Veteran Worker
Most missionaries work with the Indian Christian population
- With this in mind, the number of workers is still low. There are 7 missionaries per million people.
- Although Latin America has half the population of India, they receive 25x as many workers. (172 per million)
- Africa receives 13x as manyworkers (90 per million people)
Even with all of the good that has happened with the Indian Church and the native missions movement, India is still one of the greatest frontiers.
India needs all the help it can get.
(Insights from a talk given by R. & T. Lewis at USCWM, Nov. 2012. Stats from Atlas of Global Christianity by Todd Johnson and Operation World by Jason Mandryk.)