International Mission Ministries (IMM) believes that Biblical churches are ‘Native to the area, with local colour and local flavour’ – simply put, this means ‘indigenous’. Each culture must take the unchanging truths of the Gospel then plant those truths in the local soil or flavour of the local people.
The rubber hits the road when the westerners leave the areas we are ministering in and no longer financially support foreign works.
So there are some important questions we ask as we minister:
- In what ways are we influencing people toward western culture rather than biblical culture?
- Are we doing this for our convenience or for the long-term health of the local church?
- What will last for generations? – (after our ministry has gone?)
- How can we instil ‘local ownership’ and biblical maturity toward ‘national church health’?
There are three principles we look for which indicate a church is genuinely indigenous:
- Self-Governing – as to leadership, and finances
- Self-Supporting – as to manpower and finances
- Self-Propagating – as to evangelism and church reproduction
A truly indigenous church has each of these three elements, no two parts make the whole.
The philosophy which International Mission Ministries hold to is one of honouring and encouraging truly Indigenous Churches.
“When we equip and trust locals to do what locals do best, we continue to see Jesus building His church through His people.”