Missions Are Eradicating Ministers From South Asia

Bhojraj Bhatta
6 min readFeb 24


The church leadership in our part of the world has forgotten to hear the voice of God because the voice of dollar is so deafening!

Apostle Paul was probably the first person to write the books of the New Testament. He was a brilliant scholar.

Clement of Rome (died about 101AD) is considered to be the first apostolic father. His letter to the church in Corinth is the oldest Christian document outside the New Testament. This document demonstrates his learned status.

Ignatius of Antioch (died between 107- 112 AD ) wrote many letters to various churches; another learned man.

Justin Martyr (died 165AD) defended the Christian faith through his writings; considered to be the first apologist of the church.

Irenaeus (died about 202), Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria, Cyprian of Carthage, Athanasius, and Eusebius (all within the first 300 years) were men of great learning. From Augustine to Luther, history is filled with great men and women of the church who dominated the world of their time with their learning.

Even if we have to go back into the Old Testament, we see how God fashioned his prophets with the language and culture of their time to be the kind of vessels they had to be in order to communicate his Word in written form.

Not just the writers, but look at the pastors, preachers, priests and bishops who God used for greater glory down through the history were men of great learning. The churches they pastored or preached in weren’t always established and sophisticated but the leadership almost always devoted to learning and teaching. Church leadership was often, if not always, the best educated bunch of people in their society.

Until the end of European domination of the world, missionaries and ministers were men and women who genuinely heard the call of God to lay down their lives for the sake of the gospel.

Men like Martin Lloyd Johns would give up their high paying jobs to take up the task of preaching the gospel. Men like Charles Spurgeon were driven by the call of God from their childhood and could not rest until they yielded to that divine call. Missionaries like William Carey, Amy Carmichael and so on were so consumed by the divine call in their lives that they risked everything in order to fulfill that call.

However, after the Second World War and the worldwide frenzy for independence from colonial powers, the church leadership in these independent and developing nations (major part of the world) has become so different from what it used to be in the history before that.

Abject poverty, skyrocketing unemployment and rampant corruption created masses of humanity who would take up any job helping them meet their ends meet. Missions or ministry was possibly the best option for such desperate people.

These independent nations forbade the colonial powers to send missionaries. For a few decades, the colonizing church tried to maintain the control of the colonized church by sending missionaries under the guise of medical, educational and social service mantels. But the changing political landscape made the role of these missionaries redundant. They had to concede to the natives. The spiritual colonization went through a massive change.

Although money came from the colonizing powers, the distribution in the colonies fell in the hands of the locals. No sooner, corruption infected the churches and institutions. With fake documents and cooked books, donations that came for mission purposes never saw the daylight. Churches became stagnant, buildings began to fall apart, and mission work stopped but the reporting to the donors continued to be ever more colorful.

Then in 1957, Operation Mobilization came into existence. Inspired by the era of romantic faith missions, OM literally took the words of Jesus Christ “take no purse” when they went to preach the gospel. By 1963, OM teams were canvasing north Indian terrains. In 1965, IEM began its kind of work. Similarly FMPB began in the south and the traditional mission organizations were challenged by these new forms of mission work.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when a smart Indian man joined OM in India and worked with them for a few years until he made his way to the USA in 1974. He knew how a mission like OM could become a fertile ground for his enterprise. He didn’t believe in OM’s policy of “no purse” and changed it into “30$ per head” policy. How fitting it is to connect this method to Judas selling Jesus with 30 pieces of silver. He began “Gospel for Asia” as a marketing strategy and wrote a powerful book “Revolution in Missions” (1986) with heart wrenching stories of poor Indians working for the Lord without food and clothes. These stories pricked the guilty conscience of Christians who were riding the wave of Reagan era prosperity. With persuasive style this man could put any audience to a spellbound conviction for 30$ a month for a missionary.

The traditional missions were spending somewhere about 40k$ a year to put a full time missionary in the field. But this man chided the westerners for spending that much money for one missionary. With that amount, he could send 1,400 of them into mission fields. The American church caught this idea like a wildfire and hundreds of millions of dollars went into his bank accounts so that he could hire as many Indians as he could lay his hands on for the missions. No call of God was needed; money would do the job for him and for them as well.

When other native missions saw GFA’s success, they too multiplied their efforts to capture the western guilty conscience. Any person with the power of dollar at their disposal could hire the whole village; turn them into full time pastors and evangelists. The bigger their numbers grew, the better the return came. The term “native missionary” became a holy word. For the first time in history, Christian mission became one of the fasted ways of getting rich and the easiest ways of making one’s ends meet. All these poor folks in the mission fields had to do to get about 10$ reward was to gather a few people in the village for the photo show.

Now, when we look at the church leadership in South Asia we can easily divide it into three groups.

The first one is the cream on the top; well connected to western donors and seemingly educated, residing in the posh colonies of the major metropolises with fancy villas and expensive cars.

The second group comprises of the well to do but not so wealthy. They are the handymen of the cream; they travel to various towns and villages to keep things running. They may have had some formal theological training provided by these missions but have no time for either the spiritual or academic discipline.

The third group comes from the grassroots level. These may be farmers, local school teachers, small traders, fishermen or the unemployed. Any extra cash could come so handy to this group. All they had to do is to gather some people and pose for the pictures. Once or twice a year, they have to attend the said seminar or conference.

So, the modern church leadership in our part of the world has forgotten to hear the voice of God because the voice of dollar is so deafening.

Reading, writing, and studying to minister to one’s congregation does not fetch much. But running missions to support the native missionaries, schools, orphanages, and NGOs profit much.

The gift of anointed biblical preaching has become a sad casualty of modern native missionary enterprise. The less educated the church leadership is the more profit they bring for the dollar connected leaders who control the business. If the ministry/mission can provide luxuries for the top leaders and daily substance for the lowest rank without dropping a single drop of sweat, why bother doing the hard work of studying and learning!!

Originally published at https://vojraj.blogspot.com. (January 28, 2018)



Bhojraj Bhatta

Hindu by Birth. Christian by Choice. Nepalese by Citizenship. Writes About Life, Family, Bible, Church, Missions. Etc. http://youtube.com/brbhatta