In the mid–1990s, David Watson, a missionary in India, decided to study Jesus’s methodology to determine a new approach to church planting among resistant people groups.
He decided to practice what he learned, and he developed the most revolutionary approach to missionary strategy in two thousand years!
A worker goes into a village and knocks on every door until someone invites him to come in to hear more of the “good news” about how to know God personally. The worker goes no further in the community, but he returns regularly to this one home, where he continues to teach the meaning of the gospel. Soon the whole family—-and many times extended family members, neighbors, and friends—-comes to Christ. A church is born under the leadership of the host family.
The worker then only spends time with the head of the household, who guides the young house–church. The process is repeated in other communities, and soon a church–planting movement has begun.
Today, hundreds of thousands of churches are starting in some of the most difficult regions of the world. This is the approach of the underground church. The modern concept of the missionary is that of a nonresident evangelist, teacher, trainer, and mentor to hundreds of nonsalaried pastors across a region. All this happened because one missionary decided to take Jesus’s instructions seriously!
This approach doesn’t require a highly gifted teacher or an eloquent speaker; God simply needs a person who is committed to “go and make disciples of all nations [i.e., ethnic people groups]” (Matt 28:19). In Matthew 10:11, he was to find someone “worthy,” or “fitting, proper, [or] useful.” Luke calls this person a “son of peace” (Luke 10:6), referring to God’s preparation of an open spirit to know God’s truth (Matt 3:8).
The “worthy” person is a gift whose home becomes the base of operations for a ministry. Often this person may seem inadequate for the job, but the missionary should “stay with [him]” (“remain, abide”) and trust in God’s providential leadership, just as the disciples did.
“Dear Lord, I pray for Your servants around the world who are carrying the gospel to the lost. Guide them to people willing to listen, and help them persevere until the truth is planted in their hearts.”