4 Strategies of the Missionary Task

4 Strategies of the Missionary Task

Ralph Winter once said there were four levels of strategy concerning the missionary task.

I have taken his main thoughts and broke them down into four words along with some commentary under each:

Salvation, Discipleship, Awe, & Warfare


1. "'Getting people saved' and getting them 'into heaven' and out of this world."

This has been a place where a lot of missions work has stopped.

A Gospel of Salvation has been proclaimed rather than the Gospel of the Kingdom. "Getting people saved" has many times reduced salvation to simply praying a "sinner's prayer" and having someone "make a decision for Jesus."

But this is just the beginning of a lifetime of commitment. The desire to get to heaven as also made it easier for believers to "check out" on this world because they believe it will simply be burned away. However as some like NT Wright have pointed out, the truth is that God uses this world as a seed for the next.


2. "Getting people into a relationship with Jesus as Lord and Master."

Salvation is simply the gateway into a lifetime of what we call discipleship.

Discipleship is the process of following Jesus as Lord. Helping people to understand that Jesus has absolute authority and is to be obeyed, not negotiated with, is a part of the missionary task. We demonstrate the infinite worth of Christ, in part, by our willingness to follow him despite the personal costs. We set the example for others to follow by choosing to follow.


3. "Declaring God's glory including the works of God as seen through a microscope and a telescope."

Though we are called bondservants. We are also called friends. We are sons and daughters. We are the bride of Christ.

As the bride, we demonstrate a side of our worship that moves from the intellect and will alone and into the emotion and the beauty realm of knowing Jesus as our Bridegroom. We can help lead people to a place of awe by teaching them how to see God in this infinite majesty by reflecting on creation and design.

We also glorify him through our words, whether speaking or singing, that declare his glory and majesty. Without this aspect of our missionary task, our work becomes a drudgery and not a joy.


4. "Conquering the works of the devil in order to restore God's glory by inducting people into a Christian family which is at war."

Later in his life Winter began to strongly believe that God received blame for far too many things that should have been rightly attributed to Satan and his cohorts.

He believed that we are all in a war and that our lifestyle as believers should reflect the consecration to a wartime lifestyle. Of course, he was not speaking about a physical war, but a Spiritual one.

We are to lead in sacrificing for others, praying for our enemies, and actively resisting the onslaught of the enemy's works. Our first position should be in offense through strategic prayer, a "war time walkie talkie" not an pleasure boat intercom. The Apostle John writes, "For this reason the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil."

If we are called to "be like Jesus" we will do the same kind of work through his power and authority. This can happen both Spiritually through healing and deliverance and through very practical works of compassion, development, and Scientific advances.

We'll keep you up to date.