What’s Wrong with Western Missionaries – Nik Ripken

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What Makes a Good Missionary?

As we talked with persecuted believers, we discovered that they often wanted to talk not just about their own persecution, but also about us, workers from the West. As darkness settled in, after a full day of stories and interviews, I asked these believers about Western missionaries.

“What do we do well? What things do we not do well? What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? What should we pick up? What should we lay down? What makes a good missionary?”

These believers looked at each other in horror. For hours, they had related their most personal stories.

They had shared accounts of rejection by parents and siblings. They had unpacked events where they had been shamed and beaten. They had told of other believers who were forced to marry nonbelievers. They had even recalled brothers and sisters who had been brutalized before being killed for their faith. They had not held back the most intimate stories surrounding their families, faith, and persecution.

But when I ask this final question about Western missionaries, they froze.

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2 Replies to “What’s Wrong with Western Missionaries – Nik Ripken”

  1. Great insightful article. I had read it before. Thanks for posting! I think the title is miss leading a little “click baity” Anyone who has been in missions world knows all to well the shortcomings and errors of “western” missions. Anyone who has not been in the missions world has the tendency to dismiss “western” missions because of our shortcomings. I think the title should be one of the subtitles “The Missing Ingredient in Missions”

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