A Revolution in World Missions
It's not a new book. The first edition - penned in 1986 - has spawned five subsequent editions. Yet it's potency and passion is still well-timed for today's western Church. Revolution in World Missions is an autobiographical and prophetic work brought to us by Indian evangelist, pastor, church planter and missions pioneer, K.P. Yohannan. It was the selection for this year's Academy reading in the "foreign missions" genre. In the past, the Academy has surveyed Let the Nations Be Glad and Perspectives, but this year we selected a new text, which turned out to be well-timed for our later decision to take the Academy to Nepal for this year's international vision trip.
K.P.'s heart beats for the spiritually unreached and materially poor of Asia, the very cloth from which he was cut, and his formation of the missions organization, Gospel for Asia, has significantly furthered the spread of the good news among this aforementioned massive population of southeast Asia. His passion and dedication to Christ and the mission of Christ leaps from the pages of this book, making it one of the more inspiring reads in my 33 years. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, but I do so with a significant caution: buckle your seat belt, because this will no doubt be one of the most challenging books you will ever read. K.P. is forthright in his convictions; he does not mince words. Yes, this book will lift your gaze from transient things to place them upon Christ and the permanency of his word and his kingdom, yet K.P.'s words will no doubt pierce like a sword as well as he describes the state of the American church and the church in Asia.
Here's what the SOS Academy had to say about their reading of this book:
"KP's dedication and commitment to living out the words of Jesus Christ challenged me on an individual level in how I prioritize my time, resources, and talents to further sharing the hope of the gospel with others as well as how I view international missions in how the wealthy American church has progressively been focused inwardly rather than loving and providing for the under-resourced church around the world, which Godly stewardship requires." -Zach Pappas
"Revolution in World Missions made me take a hard look at the way we as Americans practice evangelism. We need to be more focused on submitting to God, even when that means sacrificing our preferences for the purpose of partnering with the global church if it's for the betterment of the Kingdom." -Kayley Collins
"Revolution was a game changer. It challenged me to confront the quietly ignored massive failings of many American Christians - myself included. It drove me to reassess not only my view of global missions but also the very framework through which I view my life as a follower of Christ." -McKenna Duncan
"I found Revolution in World Missions really challenging to the point that I had to reread many of the chapters to soak everything in. KP through his life and love for God is pushing me to dig deeper into Gods word and join him in deeper prayer for the nations to hear Gods word." -Tyler Parker
In summary, K.P. urges the Western church to consider the following:
1) The abundance of material and spiritual resources which we lavishly enjoy in this country and the degree to which we do not have a proportionate faith, generosity or dedication to the spread of the gospel among the Two-Thirds world. We must ask ourselves: why do we have this abundance and how are we going to steward it?
2) The disproportionate resources given and targeted by the American church upon the unevangelized as compared to that which is given for our own churches and areas of the world largely "reached" with the gospel (i.e. North America, Central America, South America and Saharan Africa). With less than 0.2% of American Church missions giving going to unreached people groups of the world, we must ask ourselves if our missions priorities are in order.
3) The need for a re-education of American Christians to see that the spread of the gospel among unreached Asia will best happen not through western missionaries but through indigenous believers who better understand Eastern cultures and have fewer cultural hurdles to cross. How might we lay down our western lives for the sake of our eastern brothers and sisters and partner with them to aid them in taking the good news to the unreached? GFA offers opportunities to financially sponsor an evangelist/church planter or to even provide a bicycle so that they can more easily travel with the good news.
4) The inspiring faith and dedication of Asian Christians who sacrifice joyfully and surrender themselves to the cause of Christ and the opportunity that the western Church has for praying for and funding their ministry
5) Christ's plan A was always "the Church." He did not come to just make converts for heaven and he did not come to establish social justice causes. He came to make disciples who make disciples, as he prepares his bride for the new creation. K.P. makes a strong case for our misplaced priorities as we pour our energy and money into social justice causes that have little or no emphasis upon the verbal proclamation of the gospel.