DEFINING TERMS AND PRINCIPLES OFINDIGENOUS CHURCH PHILOSOPHY:TOWARD A RENEWED SURRENDER TO ASPIRIT-DRIVEN MISSIOLOGY AND PRAXIS
DeLonn RancePresented at theMissions Leaders Forum of World Assemblies of God Fellowship CongressChennai, IndiaFebruary 6, 2011
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,who rely on horses,who trust in the multitude of their chariotsand in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,or seek help from the LORD. Is. 31:1The LORD gives victory to his anointed.He answers him from his heavenly sanctuarywith the victorious power of his right hand.Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Ps.20:6-7 No king is saved by the size of his army;no warrior escapes by his great strength.A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;despite all its great strength it cannot save.But the eyes of the LORD are on those whofear him,on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,to deliver them from deathand keep them alive in famine Ps. 33:16-19
Unless the LORD builds the house,the builders labor in vain.Unless the LORD watches over the city,the guards stand watch in vain. Ps. 121:1
Assigned topic: Defining Terms and Principles of the Indigenous Church Philosophy
Globally Assemblies of God leadership, particularly missions leadership like those
present in this room, are familiar with the term ―Indigenous Church.‖ In fact, I am assuming that
some have even presented lectures, papers and have taught on the subject. However, increasinglyour fellowship experiences missiological drift. Pastors and laity may recognize the term, even beable to articulate the three
―selfs,‖ but the principles of the indigenous c
hurch do not guide their missiological decision making.Even for missionaries who seem to understand,
the truths of the indigenous church donot shape their missional discernment or practice.
I‘m privilege to
teach a course on theindigenous church to new missionaries to Latin America while they are in language school. I
Portions of this paper were originally presented as the 2008-2009 J. Philip Hogan Professor of WorldMissions inaugural address on October 15, 2008 at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield,Missouri. See Appendices E and F for the complete text of Lectures I and III or athttp://www.agts.edu/news/news_archives/2008_10rance_lecture.html.