Roland Allen On Mission Finances and Preaching

This is my second installment of quotes taken from Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s Or Ours by Roland Allen. This book, considered by many to be a classic on missions and indigenous ministry, was written in 1912.

As I mentioned in my first post on MM, it is important to remember when reading these quotes that when Allen wrote the book missions conducted in “heathen” lands were dominated by Western missions organizations, were financed mainly by foreign capital, were led and overseen by foreign missionaries, and gave little consideration to a truly indigenous approach to ministry.

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From the chapter, “Finance.”

Allen dismisses the idea that ” … the stability of the church in some way depends upon the permanence of its buildings.”

“Christianity is not an institution, but a principle of life.”

“By supplying what they cannot supply we check them in the proper impulse to supply what they can supply. … The converts learn to rely upon them (the missionaries) instead of making every effort to supply their own needs.”

From  “The Preaching” chapter.

 “Philosophical disquisitions have no doubt their place; but for mission preaching the supreme subject is ‘the Cross’, ‘Repentance, and Faith’.”

“We tend to think that the duty of the Church is rather to Christianize the world than to gather out of the world the elect of God into fellowship of His Son.”

 “St Paul did not scatter seeds, he planted. He so dealt with his hearers that he brought them speedily and directly to a point of decision, and then he demanded of them that they should make a choice and act on their choice.”

Allen’s comments about St. Paul bringing men to a point of decision regarding the acceptance or rejection of Christ are convicting. How often do I share Christ with people? How rarely do I call them to decision?

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My next post of quotes from Missionary Methods: St Paul’s Or Ours? will be taken entirely from the chapter, “The Teaching.”

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