The September/October 2010 edition of Mission Frontiers, the bulletin of the U.S. Center for World Mission, featured a number of fascinating articles about how ministry among Native North American peoples is shifting away from a paternalistic model toward a new contextualized one.
The lead article by editor Rick Wood, entitled “Learning from Our Mistakes”, is a must-read for every white American who loves the Lord and wants all peoples to know Him. Wood answers the questions:
“What happens when missionaries teach that the only way of salvation is for a people to completely reject their own culture and accept the ‘Christian’ culture of the missionary? What is the result of not understanding God’s love for all peoples and His plan for every tribe and tongue to worship and glorify God in all of their uniqueness?”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
The rest of the issue is filled with stories of how Native Christian leaders today are “making the gospel indigenous” for their peoples. I was so encouraged and inspired by these men and women, who continue to persevere in their faith despite overwhelming opposition from within their own culture and sadly, at times, from the greater (read: white) American Church.
Click here to see the list of articles available for viewing and/or download.
The sweatlodge pictured above was constructed in Colorado Springs according to traditional Native practices, but is now being used in new ways. Photo credit: Dot Everett