WILLS POINT, TX – Forty years ago, the Lord called Dr. K.P. Yohannan and his wife, Gisela, to step out in faith to see the people of Asia understand and embrace the love of Christ. The young couple understood “the why” because Dr. Yohannan was a native of India. They understood “the how” as well but only to a limited extent. Dr. Yohannan shared the philosophy of their new ministry, Gospel for Asia (GFA), with the publication of his ground-breaking book Revolution in World Missions.
Two world wars and the demise of the British Empire had broken ground for the creation of new nation-states in Asia, each of which was keen to establish or reinstate their unique cultural and political independence. Unfortunately, the perspective among those emerging nations that Christianity and colonialism were somehow uniquely symbiotic became a reason to limit the activity of Western missionaries.
The revolution in world missions was not just a metamorphosis within the missionary tradition; it was a rethinking of the most effective—and sometimes, the only way—to introduce Jesus to those who had never heard of Him.
In principle, the vision was absolutely on target. Nonetheless, the practical issue with any strategy is “the how” on the local level.
The late President John F. Kennedy told the world that “we will” send men to the moon and back safely within a decade from his pronouncement. However, he had no way of accomplishing that task on his own. “The how” would be achieved by thousands of men and women backed by the full power and resources of the United States government.
In the same way, Yohannan had no way to complete “the how” beyond developing the strategy. He needed two things to succeed in sharing Christ’s love with the nearly 3 billion people in South Asia. He knew he needed thousands of other men and woman with the full power and resources of the Lord God behind them all.
He knew the first secret to getting the task done. He knew Jesus did not merely commission us to go tell others but to do it with all His power, authority and resources available to us.
The Apostle Paul explained to Timothy that the other secret for global ministry success is to teach men who were able to teach others also.
Which leads us to the other secret. The only way one man, whether Timothy or Dr. Yohannan, can effectively share about Christ is to teach men who were willing and able to teach others also.
If one man can teach 10 others, 9,000 men can teach 90,000. If 90,000 can teach 10 others, there will be 900,000 people who know about Christ and his incredible love.
Celebrating 40 years of Gospel for Asia in 2019, Dr. K.P. Yohannan will tell you he is neither a celebrity nor the reason for Gospel for Asia’s revolution in world missions. The secrets of GFA’s success are the empowering of the Lord and the equipping of Asian believers to minister to their own people on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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- Source Watch, Gospel for Asia
- The International Council for Evangelical Theological Education, Official Website