These dedicated missionary servants love to share their journey with others in a small group or fellowshipping over a good meal. In fact, breaking bread together seems to be one of the most popular ways of getting to know each other, just as Jesus did in the first century. (Unfortunately, my weight gain can attest to this frequent ministry practice!)

As I spent time getting to know them, some prominent patterns of success became very clear. Consequently, these patterns encouraged me about the approach that Scriptures In Use employs in training indigenous partners to reach local people groups:

Principles of Successful Missions Practice:

  • Keep the gospel message and story simple, in the local mother-tongue language and cultural context.
  • Use the local peoples’ natural learning styles (organic). Don’t force or insert a foreign practice, custom or principle upon them.
  • Use Bible stories in both oral and literate cultures to introduce discovery learning in non-threatening ways, through story-telling and dialogue.
  • Reduce training complexities by not relying on technology and electricity in difficult to reach or restricted locations.
  • Seek and pray to find men or women of peace, and build with them a relationship of trust, respect, shared humility and a mutual desire for learning.
  • Empower local leaders by equipping them to easily replicate themselves and the church-planting/disciple-making practices they learn in training events.
  • Replicate self-sustainable training without western funding and without the need for a western or foreign missionary’s presence

These principles of successful missions practice are so confirming of SIU’s strategy that I actually called one of my team members during a conference and told them with an excited shout “We are doing what  missionaries around the world are saying we need to do to reach, equip and engage the lost.” Recently, one of our Bridges training participants in a restricted Central Asia country shared:

“As we dramatized, sang and danced the Bible story in our own local mother-tongue language, it felt so good. I couldn’t help but shout out in great joy, THIS IS US!…THIS IS WHO WE WERE MEANT TO BE!”

Share Your Experience and Insight

I’m interested in hearing from you. What do you think of these principles? Have you discovered additional insights that might help others in their missions efforts?

12 replies
  1. Barb Shuff
    Barb Shuff says:

    Kent,
    Always a blessing to read how the Lord continues to use you. Plus these updates cause me to pray for you, your family and your ministry. Blessings. Barb Shuff

    Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Thank you SO MUCH, dear Barb. I will send you a personal email correspondence regarding my family status. Blessings to you and thank for your continued prayers and encouragement. God is doing a great work through SIU and many ministries around the world! In Christ, Kent

      Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Thanks for your encouragement, EC. God’s Word is active and living, sharper than any double-edged sword, separating soul from spirit, joints from marrow, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Using God’s Stories with our families and neighbors is working everywhere we go. We will connect “in-person” soon! (Lord willing). God bless, Kent

      Reply
  2. Gary Lovelace
    Gary Lovelace says:

    KENT, Another good one. I took the principles of successful ministry and adding them to the guidelines and strategy of Envoy. Even in the micro enterprise activities, these principles are applicable and effective in the Third World environments where we work, SIU has proven them out, and the Holy Spirit is using them.

    Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Thank you for the encouragement, Gary. So glad to hear that these principles are also part of Envoy’s strategy and continued use. We are so grateful for our Partnership with you and your organization. God bless, Kent

      Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Greetings Dean and thank you for the encouragement! SIU always wants to be seeking and listening to the Lord and we have much confirmation that we are heading in the right direction with our Mission, Vision and Values. God bless, Kent

      Reply
  3. Pastor Raja Shaleem Samuel
    Pastor Raja Shaleem Samuel says:

    Hello brother Kent, thank you so much for sharing you recent missionary activities and I am thrilled to learn and know the points of successful mission practices. It has motivated me to review our strategies and it helped us a lot, we are going on the same direction, Praise to Holy Spirit for guiding us.

    Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Greetings Pastor Raja and that is so good to hear! Keep up the great work with you and your local leaders in transforming your community for our God’s Glory! Blessings to you, Kent

      Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Thank you so much for reading this blog and encouraging us, Pastor David! We appreciate you and Pantano Christian Church much as we partner together to finish the task of the Great Commission in oral cultures around the world. Blessings to you, your family and your local body of believers, Kent

      Reply

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