“Although 85 to 90% of the Christians in the Third World will be Pentecostal/Charismatic/Independent in the year 2000, only 41% of the missionaries and agencies from the Third World will be Pentecostal/Charismatic” (Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide, 300).
One of the tough aspects of being a missionary is growing the church to a healthy a place and allowing them to build and plant on their own. It is the tendency of leaders everywhere to shape organizations into their image. The new missionary movement must realize that we can not build a dependency relationship where national leaders are waiting for us to give them direction and leadership. We have to be a people who encourage, guide and direct but never assume that we will always remain the heads of ministries that we start.
What is exciting about the explosion of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement worldwide is that we can see it is a work of the Holy Spirit and not of creative missionaries. It is hard to explain why so many Third World Christians are Pentecostal/Charismatic when it was not the way they started their journey of faith. We see a development of a national theology that is independent of the West and it should excite us to know that the great church leaders of the future will not only be from the West and that contributions to theology will not only come from seminaries in America and Europe.
As Western Christians we need to be humble enough to know that we are servants of God and not of our own agendas. Our duty is to preach the Gospel to all nations. We help indigenous peoples plant their own churches and train them so that we can be replaced. We are not in the work of God in order to establish our own legacy as some kind of great church leader. It is exciting to see that the work of God is not inhibited by his servants. His Spirit is moving in the world and our response should be one of praise; the Lord is completing his work.