We began as a vehicle to aid a Monrovia church and to provide teachers for an annual conference held in Liberia. This conference was and is open to all faiths and through contacts we grew to know many other churches in Liberia. As Revive Liberia Missions grew and our experience and knowledge of mission work developed, we have been lead in the direction of a ?new missions? operation. New Missions is an approach to missions that relies on the indigenous Church and charitable organizations to spread the Gospel, establish schools and clinics, distribute aid and provide economic development with seed money, resources and guidance from groups in developed countries.
Traditional Missions are defined as sending men and women in-country from their home country, with support from the home churches the spread the Gospel and distribute aid. One way of looking at it is the old saying about teaching a man to fish or giving him a fish. Giving him a fish feeds him for a day, which could save his life if he is starving and this has itís place and should not be ignored. Teaching a man to fish requires more time, planning and initial resources for hooks, line and sinkers. But once he learns to fish he can eat for the rest of his life, and more importantly, he can teach other men to fish, they can teach and so on. There are strengths and weakness in either approach. Both these approaches are taught by Christ. Sub-Sahara Africa has been evangelized by traditional missions and there are numerous churches throughout the region. It is time to move on to a self sustaining and holistic approach to missions. They have the fishermen, they need help getting hook, line and sinker.
Resources are utilized in a more effectively by new mission approaches. For instance, it costs around $80,000 a year to support a mission family from the US in a developing country. It would cost around $5000 to support an indigenous pastor and his family AND establish a partially fund a new church in most developing countries. Language and cultural barriers are eliminated. Along with the advantages of the new mission approach come disadvantages. There is a necessary loss of control of direction and of resources. Without a system of checks and balances, the approach is open to abuse. As good stewards, we must establish a system that gives maximum power to our partners in the field and also encourages transparent accounting and reporting, sharing leadership duties and encouraging and enabling new leaders. This is our Prayerful goal in this mission to help our brothers and sisters in Liberia.