English-speaking missionaries sent from the West to the Third World typically face several challenges, one of which is learning the culture and language of the people group with whom they will be sharing the gospel. This can be difficult and time-consuming, and does not even include the challenge of raising the considerable funds needed to support a missionary family overseas.
There is a way to minimize these challenges.
In many Third World countries targeted by English-speaking missionaries, there are already Bible-trained or Seminary-trained servants of God who have decent understanding of English. They grew up and were raised in the local culture and language. Therefore, unlike missionaries from the West, they do not face the challenges of local culture and language. Living according to Third World standards, their living expenses will be miniscule compared to amount needed to support a missionary family from the West. In India it cost $75 a month to support a worker and his family.
The job of the Western missionary should be to teach the local Bible-trained servant of God how to preach the gospel as Jesus did and as he commanded his disciples. He or she will not have learned this in a Bible school or seminary.
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. …6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. …9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ …17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Once the local servant of God is properly trained in this way, he will be preaching the gospel effectively and fruitfully and planting house churches. He (or she) will be making disciples, thus multiplying himself. His disciples will do what he was doing—preaching the gospel, healing the sick, planting house churches—and making still other disciples and so on until Christ returns.
And they will not have faced the challenge of learning a new language and culture.
The very first “missionary” was the Son of God, Jesus Christ, sent by the Father in heaven to earth. Incarnated as a Jew and born and raised in the local culture and language of first century Palestine—and filled with the Holy Spirit—Jesus was the perfect missionary to the Jews.
Now through the Holy Spirit he dwells in his body of believers living in every people group on earth each with its own culture and language. In and through these local disciples Jesus Christ through his Spirit will fulfill the Great Commission.
Just like their Lord Jesus who was sent to the Jews, local harvest workers will be the most effective “missionaries” to their respective people groups during these Last Days.