ME 6410

Lessons from Missions


Most significant lessons for doing missions today from History

  1. William Carey – indigenous church- indigenous people, partnering with them and giving them control of money and trusting them with how they will use it.
  2. Remembering God’s Sovereignty-
  3. Integral or focusing missions- modern view of proclamation of the gospel through how we live life. – Incarnational

19th century Protestant Missions to Asia and Africa

Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)

  • Leads to the 1st of 2 foreign missionaries of American church
  • Conversion to believers baptism
  • Helped form American Baptist Missionary Union
  • War of 1812- unable to sere in India
  • Moved to Burma where he served for the rest of his life (1813-1850)
  • Slowness of the work because of the hard soil of culture- statues of Buddha nearby
  • Imprisoned during Anglo-Burmese war (1824-1826)- survived due to wife’s efforts and his wife and child died soon after
  • Realized that conversion would not happen among Buddhists but among hill tribes
  • First missionary to Karen
  • Ko Tha Byu- Karen Apostle
  • Tradition of the elders similar to OT so much so that scholars believe they had contact with Jewish or historian before migration
  • Mass movements among the Karen as a result of these beliefs

Judson’s Missionary Method

  • Initially adopted yellow robes of Buddhist monk
  • Accommodation to Burmese customs
  • Vary careful to preach the gospel but not against Buddhism- avoided anti-Buddhist stance in preaching
  • Translation work- by translating to an indigenous culture it shows value for that culture. Was first printed Burmese literature
  • Used single women missionaries- went and worked alone with Karen evangelists
  • Use of indigenous helpers by 1850 more than 140 preachers
  • Christian schools was used for this very successful Christian work

Abolition of Slave Trade

  • Brought about by British evangelicals
  • John Wesley, Thoughts on Slavery (1774)
  • Wm Wilberforce- petitioned Parliament for abolition
  • Society for Abolition of Slave Trade (1787)
  • 1807- British Parliament declares slave trade illegal
  • 1833- Abolition of Slavery Bill
  • Slave trade continues
  • Missions to Africa directly connected to abolitionist goals

Remedy to Slave Trade

Thomas Buxton, The Africa Slave Trade and its remedy (1839)

Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and for Civilization of Africa (1839)

  • Extinguish slave trade
  • Christianity, commerce and civilization

Niger expedition (1841)

  • Sent by Society
  • Failure of expedition

Development of new trade goods

  • Palm oil, cocoa, ivory, timber

Missions to Sierra Leone

  • Settlement formed (1787)
  • Reinforced by Black Nova Scotians (1792)
    • Viewed themselves as New Israel
    • Planted Baptist churches
    • Mission among recaptives
      • Slaves rescued by British navy
      • Majority become Christians
      • 117 different languages represented there.
      • Form distinctive Creole culture
      • Samuel Ajayi Crowther

Church Missionary Society in Sierra Leone (1804 on)

  • High mortality rate of missionaries due to malaria from mosquitos, many brought their goods in caskets and died within 1 year
  • Fourah Bay College
    • Offered Western-style higher education
    • Trained African leaders
    • Henry Vann
      • Secretary of CMS (1841-1873)
      • Early mission strategist
      • Encouraged “euthanasia of missions”- work themselves out of a job
      • Proposed 3 self’s important in mission movements: self governing, self-supporting, self-propagating native churches (they need to be the one’s sharing the gospels)
      • Practical plan for development of native church (the missions are “mentors”) small group Bible studies- native leaders raised up and would grow into a national church apart from foreign support and efforts
      • Established Native Pastorate
  • Samuel Ajayi Crowther (c. 1807-1891)
    • Yoruba tribe in Nigeria
    • Taken as a slave; released by British (1822)
    • Educated and converted by Anglicans in Sierra Leone
    • Teacher at CMS school
    • Yoruba Mission (1844)
    • Mission in Niger delta (1857)
      • African staff under his control
    • Leader of Venn’s Native Pastorate
    • 1864- ordained as Anglican minister and first elected African Anglican Bishop
    • Europeans take over African mission (1880’s-1890) A new breed of missionary comes in that was more racist, paternalistic (social Darwinism was popular around this time with superiority over “lower races”

Exponential growth in Korean church due to putting the three selves in place.