Jesus' last act was to equip the Church to reach the furthest corners of the Earth. It was a task given to all the church, the one church - the Global Church. Yet this Global Church has different local strengths, some in the West, others in the East. It is the goal of the 500,000 team to see these diverse giftings combined so that all India can be won for Christ.
So partner with Indian mission because you will be personally supporting a native missionary - and together you will be planting churches in the unreached villages of India. Your prayers and financial support will enable him or her to be full-time ministers of the gospel. In mission, both someone to send and someone to do the sending are required.
You will be working with a named missionary being sent to named villages. You are a team - both parts of a body. 6-monthly reports of your missionary's advances and setbacks will enable you to uphold him or her and their villages in prayer as well financially. Don't quit your job, don't sell your house and leave the country - but join the team and send a native missionary!
What's more, the Global Church needs to be prudent. Jesus himself commended an example of a dishonest manager for his shrewd use of the resources at his disposal! Let us use wisdom to influence our charity!
Which of us hasn't heard of good stewardship - but now how often the words optimal stewardship? How we can best use our finances to serve the kingdom. Thus, we offer this challenge - can you find any cause that will do more with £50/month (all in!) than sending a missionary to an unreached people? And that's the sort of missionary who (going from track record...) God will very likely use to successfully establish a church. So, give to Indian mission out of prudence - be an optimal steward of the gifts God has given you!
'Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God.' These are the words of history's father of modern missions, William Carey. As we now take you on the story of 500,000 Churches, keep Carey's words in mind. What could be greater than sending a missionary to an unreached people? As we outline below, this is history in the making. We have an chance to see India become a Christian nation in our lifetime. Let's seize it!
Incredibly effective mission work
Our story begins with our introduction to one man and his church planting movement. It was like nothing we had ever seen before.
The man was Das Gupta and the church planting movement was called Native Missionaries India (NMI). An astoundingly charismatic Indian pastor, Das was training missionaries in a tiny rented building in Kerala, South India. He took them street preaching, led them in fasting for days on end, and sent out the graduates to India's unreached villages to plant churches. Since he had opened his training centre the vast majority of these plants had successfully taken root.
Most incredibly, Das had (and has!) a backlog of Christians just waiting to forsake all and be sent to the mission fields - despite this only requiring an average of £50 a month. Men who could have been taking the gospel to the ends of the earth not doing so...
Naturally, we decided we had better do all we could to ensure these prospective missionaries were sent to the churchless villages of India. Yet Das explained to us how much bigger was his vision than just sending the current missionaries in waiting. He explained how he focussed on teaching his church planters to always place a priority on discipling the next generation of missionaries from their nascent churches. Like this, previously churchless villages could become bases for recruiting future waves of church planters.
We realised that with such a method the evangelised could become evangelists, and consequently, that the number of church planters in India could multiply exponentially. Every so many years the number of missionaries could double.
This is how 500 000 villages can be reached.
This is who we are: 500 000 Churches
Each playing to their strengths
So, native missionary work can be viewed in two phases: a pioneering phase and a multiplication phase. During the multiplication phase we can see explosive church growth. Nevertheless, during the pioneering phase the missionary needs basic support - approximately £50 per month for their food and rent.
By Western standards this is a truly small figure for all inclusive monthly costs - but to the nascent Indian church, this cost is a burden that cannot be sustained. The Indian church has incredible gifts in evangelism, but very little gifting financially. This is where we come in. The Western church has astonishing financial gifting - and this hasn't been given for no reason. It is required for the explosion of the native missionary movement. Through the Global Church pooling its different gifts and giving funds for the sending of native missionaries, ALL India can be reached for Christ.
Where we are at now
In 2014 we completed the construction of Stage 1 of our first Missionary Training Centre (MTC). This presently has capacity for 50 trainee missionaries - but when new funds permit completion, the centre will train 200. Our dream is to build 25 such training centres across the different states of India - which will mean we can release up to 5,000 missionaries a year. Enough to start penetrating every corner of the Subcontinent.
Building the first quarter of an MTC was enabled by a large increase in funding received in 2013. For its previous 12 years of existence from its rented premises, NMI has had a capacity of 20 traineee missionaries. Yet in 2014 NMI supports only 29 church planters. Why so few? This is because the vast majority of graduates have been encouraged to minister part-time or find support from other organisations. NMI could not send them. Their resources were not adequate even for their then existing missionaries. Now, praise God, NMI has 50 missionaries in training who have mostly been recruited from the mission fields - but as of yet they have not the funds for supporting any of them!
This brings us to where we are now. The 500, 000 team couldn't stand the thought of so many willing native missionaries not being sent. It is clear that if we don't act, many thousands of Indians will never hear the gospel as a result. India is primed for a Christian revolution - but its people need our help! This is why we created the 500 000 Churches campaign. India needs our help. India needs your help.
And this starts with you. The reader. Help reach every last village of India!
Become a native missionary partner...
...Get in touch
If you want to find out more, read the story of a missionary waiting to be sent, or have already decided to partner, drop us an email and we will contact you right away!