Beyond Unreached Peoples?

By Brian Lowther

Here is one of Ralph Winter’s essays that I think you’ll enjoy. It is one of his shorter essays, only a thousand words. It was written on a Sunday, likely in the afternoon directly after attending the church service at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. I have a hunch that he wrote this essay during his four-hour shift in the prayer room at the U.S. Center for World Mission.

The essay is written specifically to the staff members of the U.S. Center. In it, he wonders aloud about some of the statements in use at the time to describe the vision and purpose of the U.S. Center.  

He titles the essay “Beyond Unreached Peoples” as he reflects upon whether the problems that unreached peoples face are merely a result of the absence of “good news.” He compares this to telling willing recruits that all they need to do is walk into Flouja (or any war torn area) and inform them that democracy is the answer to their problems. 

He then describes a “rousing charge” of a sermon he heard earlier in the day, but compares it to a rally cry to the troops to stop quarreling, rather than a rally cry to defeat the enemy and win the war. 

He concludes by proposing that mission work could be marvelously more fruitful if specific common denominators could be recognized between missionaries and the people they come to serve. The specific common denominators he has in mind both involve looking into a microscope. In Winter’s mind, there was sufficient evidence in any microscope to rouse and unify all of mankind to participate in a “great campaign of sabotage” against our common enemy. 

Posted on April 23, 2012 and filed under First 30.