Item description for The Great Omission: Fulfilling Christ's Commission is Possible If... by Steve Saint, Robert J. Koke & Jim Graff...
Overview Steve Saint, son of missionary martyr Nate Saint, shares his experiences with the tribe who killed his father. A powerful call for the inclusion of indigenous believers in the Great Commission.
Publishers Description Steve Saint, son of missionary martyr Nate Saint, shares dramatic stories from his experiences with the tribe who killed his father, in this powerful call for the inclusion of indigenous believers in the Great Commission. Learn how current missions strategies have unwittingly kept millions of believers from fulfilling their roles in God's Kingdom.
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More About Steve Saint, Robert J. Koke & Jim Graff
Saint was born and raised in South America. He has been a businessman, missionary, pilot, builder, designer, Certified Financial Planner, speaker, and writer. He is the son of a missionary martyr and has become "family" to the tribe who killed his father.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Great Omission: Fulfilling Christ's Commission Completely?
Good Book Jul 21, 2008
Has some good nuggets to apply, especially as you look at how you or your church wants to invest in foreign missions.
Love for missions Sep 2, 2007
Steve Saint shares some compelling stories regarding missionary work. This book is a wonderful read and very inspiring. We Christians need to prayerfully consider the insights in this book. Steve Saint uses scripture and the model of Paul to validate his perceptions. I highly recommend this book.
A thought-provoking read Jan 9, 2007
Saint's book caused me to ask myself, "Am I doing what God has called me to do in the way that He wants it done?" After reading "The Great Omission" my wife and I re-evaluated our ministries, using Saint's criteria, "Are we producing believers that are dependent on God or us?"
Must Read! Jan 3, 2007
Saint provides a sound discussion of on overlooked missiological theme in The Great Omission. This is a "must read" for anyone involved in either long-term or short-term missions. Two of the greatest mistakes missionaries make are addressed in this little book: not developing national leaders and creating dependancy among those to whom we minister. Saint writes in a very engaging, readable manner and uses real life examples to illustrate his points. I distribute it to all my mission leaders.
Overcoming Dependency May 17, 2006
Steve Saint is the son of the martyred missionary, Nate Saint, who was killed by the Waodani Indians (formerly known as Aucas) of Ecuador in 1956 along with Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming. After his aunt, Rachel Saint, and Elisabeth Elliot successfully planted Christianity among the Waodani, Steve spent some of his childhood among these Indians who murdered his father, even being baptized by them. In 1994, when his Aunt Rachel died, the Waodani called him from his business career in Florida to live among them again.
When he arrived in the this site jungle, Saint was shocked by the state of the Waodani churches and Christians: "I was dismayed to find that the Waodani church was less functional than it had been when I lived with them during school vacations while growing up" (p. 18). What was the cause of this sad situation? Beside the fact that non-Christian outsiders were increasingly dominating their lives, the Waodani "also felt threatened by all of the benevolence they were receiving from Christian missions and relief organizations" (p. 18). Initially, the Waodani churches had been self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating, but now they waited for outsiders to build their church buildings and to conduct their Bible conferences.
This type of dependency concerns Saint because it causes what he calls "The Great Omission," that is, it eliminates the contribution of indigenous believers like the Waodani to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Saint emphasizes that the model of missions that creates dependency in indigenous believers will never be able to complete world evangelization. He believes that dependency ends up sapping the strength and patience of both donors and receivers, and it is difficult to cure after it becomes established. The real goal of missions is to plant healthy indigenous churches that can do their own part in fulfilling the Great Commission. Yet many indigenous believers are so smothered by the good intentions of western Christians that they feel incapable of matching up to the task by comparison. They sit on the sidelines, waiting for more sophisticated Christians to minister to their needs.
How does this dependency happen? Saint explains, "Anyone of superior education, superior technology, and superior financial ability who is attempting to help people of inferior capability in those areas has to guard against creating dependency" (p. 56). Furthermore, North Americans assume that "more is almost always considered better when it comes to money" (p. 126). Saint likens money to medicine which must be administered in the right dosage to effect a cure. Too much money, like too much medicine, can harm more than help. In missions, if imported systems are too expensive for the local Christians to afford, that will tend to make them dependent on outsiders. Thus, less funding can help overcome "The Great Omission," by prompting local believers to exercise their own faith and use their own resources for evangelism.
North Americans tend to make the common mistake of thinking that worldwide standards must equal theirs to be valid and effective. For example, we may assume that pastors among the Waodani need the same training as American pastors, or that church buildings in Africa should have the same specifications as those in the U.S.A. In his efforts to help the Waodani overcome dependency, Saint adopted technology appropriate to the jungle setting. In this way, he helped the Waodani cope with modern needs by training them in both dentistry and aviation, but in a form they can afford and use without depending on outsiders. Thus, the Waodani use portable dental chairs and solar-powered drills that can be carried in a backpack, and they fly what he calls "a powered parachute." Such innovations appropriate to the Waodani lifestyle have helped them to become self-supporting once again.
Saint concludes with a comparison between modern missionary methods and those of the Apostle Paul. In contrast with Paul's method of turning over responsibility to his converts at an early stage, modern missionaries tend to stay too long in leadership over their converts, expecting them to attain the same qualifications as the missionaries before assuming responsibility. Saint advocates the Pauline method to avoid dependency, characterized by the four words "Know-Go-Show-Blow." This signifies the necessity of knowing God personally, going where He is not yet known, showing the people there how to follow Him, and "blowing," that is, leaving that place soon in order to start over in another place. In this way, missions would be able to incorporate all their converts into the evangelistic work force and so fulfill the Great Commission.
The Great Omission fills a gap in missions literature, since Steve Saint has shown how a well-known missionary success story became a tragedy through dependency. In addition, he shows how he struggled to help the Waodani overcome this debilitating disease through appropriate use of technology. By restoring the Waodani churches to health, Saint has enabled them to participate as equals in world evangelization. Without people like the Waodani in the missionary force, the Great Commission will never be fulfilled. Dependency causes "The Great Omission." In plain language, Saint explains how mission methods need to revert to those of the first century if they are to be effective. The goal of missions must once again be the formation of healthy indigenous churches in every culture. Then, and only then, will God receive the glory when His churches reach every unreached group, with all the churches helping to reach all the world.