What should the missionary approach be? Musings from a 1950s missionary in Korea

From Arch Campbell’s ‘The Christ of the Korean Heart’ (1957)

Much has been written and said concerning the ‘missionary message for today’. Varied opinions have been expressed as to what ‘approach’ should be made to win the non-Christian world to Christ. Some of the opinions have been offered by swivel-chair missionaries in offices in New York, or professors in American theological seminaries. Sometimes we are told that the approach must be through social uplift, sometime through agricultural improvement, sometimes by cultural exchange, sometimes by loving service. All these efforts have their values and their influences. But nearly forty years of close acquaintance with the Christians of Korea, living in their mud-walled homes, eating at their tables, often wearing their style of clothing, worshipping with them, praying with them, conducting thousands of ‘examinations’ for baptism, teaching them the Word in their own tongue and watching their faces, hearing them sing their favourite hymns, hearing them pour out their souls in their daybreak prayer meetings, have convinced me that the message that really grips the heart, that sends them to prisons, to beatings with joyfulness, to death or to witness to their fellow countrymen, to build their thatched-roofed and beer-can-roofed churches, is the message that gripped Suh, the same message that gripped the great heart of Paul. ‘He loved me, and gave Himself for me.’

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