Still further to strengthen the cause of Christ in this country, and, as far as in our power, to give it a permanent establishment, even when the efforts of Europeans may fail, we think it our duty, as soon as possible, to advise the native brethren who may be formed in separate churches, to choose their pastors and deacons from amongst their own countrymen, that the word may be statedly preached, and the ordinances of Christ administered, in each church, by the native minister, as much as possible, without the interference of the missionary of the district, who will constantly superintend their affairs, give them advice in cases of order and discipline, and correct any errors into which they may fall, and who, joying and beholding their order, and their steadfastness of their faith in Christ, may direct his efforts continually to the planting of new churches in other places, and to the spread of the Gospel throughout his district as much as in his power. By this means the unity of the missionary character will be preserved, all the missionaries will still form one body, each one moveable as the good of the cause may require, the different native churches will also naturally learn to care and provide for their ministers, for their church expense, the raising places of worship, etc., and the whole administration will assume a native aspect, by which means the inhabitants will more readily identify the cause as belonging to their own nation, and their prejudices at falling into the hands of Europeans will entirely vanish. It may be hoped too that the pastors of these churches, and the members in general, will feel a new energy in attempting to spread the Gospel, when they shall thus freely enjoy the privileges of the Gospel amongst themselves.
The goal as soon as possible is to form an indigenous church. A church that is self supporting, self governing, and self supporting. That means we must teach them to do all the work and that our goal is to get out of the way.
They should be allowed to choose their pastors and leaders. They will have been taught well how to serve and honor God.
By the way that means that as a missionary you should not own their property nor should the mission. We have criticized very harshly large denominations that have done so in the states and then as independent Baptists go to the field and do what we condemn in the states. We act as though we could never trust them. You are not trusting them you are trusting and commending them to God.
As missionaries our goals are to continue getting new churches started and new men trained for the work there. The longer we tell them what to do and do not allow them to step up the weaker they will become.
Missionaries should not interfere with a church once it has become organized. As long as it is a mission of your church you obviously have some authority but once they are organized you should not undermine the pastor getting involved in telling them what to do.
Let the nationals know that they are our equals in the work of God. For too long the n word of missionary work has been “national”. We have treated them too often with disrespect and superiority. God can use them as well as He can use us.