We have heard it said or said it ourselves, "We need more evangelists sharing the gospel!" Or, "Church planting is what is going to reach this city!" And in other contexts, "The church needs to be revitalized!" And to all of these I say, "Amen, amen, amen!" I love and have a passion for all of these ministries: evangelizing the lost, planting new churches, dying churches brought back to life.
Photo credit: Steve & Carol Jean Gallagher
But as I thought about it, all of these are based on Western assumptions:
there are missionaries to send,
pastors to preach,
Christians to teach,
a church in existence to be revitalized,
a Bible in their language.
We often forget there are places that cannot function on these assumptions because they do not exist--no missionary, no pastor, no church, no Bible, no hope.
Without a Bible, what will pastors preach and teach from? What will Christians be discipled with? How will missionaries communicate God's Word without the Word of God in the language the people understand best?
The missionaries, evangelists, church planters, pastors, and those they are reaching, need to have the most essential weapon in their arsenal, the power of God's Word.