Before Christ ascended into heaven, He commanded His followers to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). The message they proclaimed took root in many hearts, and over the centuries believers continued to spread the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire, across Europe, and eventually into the Americas. Western missionaries were sent to distant lands in Africa and Asia to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who had never heard.
Today, there are millions of men, women, and children who remain unreached with the message of God’s love. The vast majority of these unreached people groups are based in the Indian sub-continent.
Because of past colonialism, many people in South Asia and other parts of the world identify Christianity as the religion of the “white people” who conquered them. Christianity is viewed as a foreign religion.
But when native people share the Gospel with their own countrymen, it is no longer foreign. Most indigenous ministries send missionaries to plant churches in their own regions, where they speak the language or dialect, know the culture, and understand the most effective way to present the Gospel.
In some tribal cultures, these missionaries will use storytelling techniques to share about Christ. In others, they will educate and provide loving care to orphaned or abandoned children. Some missionaries will set up small businesses so they can live and work among those whom they are trying to reach.
All of this is accomplished at a fraction of the cost of sending Western missionaries.