(Evangel) Martin Goldsmith–The Genius of Roland Allen

Trust God’s Spirit. Allen accuses western missionaries of failure to trust the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying and maturing new believers in China or Africa. He reminds his readers that the same Holy Spirit indwells these new national Christians and us. If God is at work in them, then we must assume that they, too, have all the necessary gifts for the leadership and life of the church. There is no need for us to remain in charge of everything. Allen notes that the apostle Paul did not stay unduly long in any one place, but quickly trained and taught new believers, appointed leaders and moved on. He trusted the Holy Spirit to use them and lead them, so that the church flourished and grew. Allen contrasts this apostolic pattern with contemporary systems in which many missionaries remain for many years in one place, dominate the national church and thus prevent natural development under the Spirit of god. Allen seems to be a prophet before his time, for in more recent years the charismatic renewal has taught us that all Christians have gifts for the edification of the church and, therefore, we do not need to be mere pew-dusters saying ‘amen’ to a dominant minister.

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