Jack Nelson, with his wife Nancy, founded Worldlink in 2002 and has faithfully served as the ministry’s President since its inception. In 2016, Jack published Reachable, a collection of stories of Worldlink’s Indigenous Partners and an in-depth look at why Worldlink supports Indigenous Missionaries.
The following are excerpts from Jack’s book answering how to best reach the unreached masses of lost and hurting people around the world; and then a message from Jack answering where to go from here.
A Tale of Two Strategies
God has commissioned this generation of believers to bring His love and Good News to this generation of lost and hurting people.
So, what's the best way to reach the unreached masses of lost and hurting people around the world whom God has commissioned us to reach? For years, I thought the only way was to go as a Western Missionary. Thirty years ago, my wife Nancy, and I decided to do just that. But God never opened that door. Then, over the years, I met indigenous Christians all over the world who were fulfilling the mission in their own countries and doing the same work I would have done as a Western Missionary.
I compared these Indigenous Missionaries to me.
They already knew their language perfectly, I would need years to learn it and a life time to master it.
They were culture insiders while I would always be an outsider in my thinking and in my view of the local people.
They were ready to serve immediately while it would take me years to decide where to go, learn the language, raise funds, move my family and be set to do the work.
They would stay on mission for a life time while my ministry would probably end in 10 or 20 years.
They had ministry continuity but I would have planned to return to the U.S. every few years for visits, fundraising, education and rest.
They lived simply on the level of their peers while even if I drastically lowered my American standard of living it would still be drastically higher than those I would serve.
They could live on a few dollars a day while the cost to send me and my family as western missionaries would average hundreds of dollars a day.
I knew there would always be some reason for Westerners to relocate, but as I saw these highly qualified, deeply passionate and clearly called Indigenous Missionaries, God began to clarify a new mission strategy in my heart.
So, understanding God's commission to share His love and Good News with the world, and seeing the unique qualifications and advantages of Indigenous Missionaries in their own countries, I began to see something over and over.
I saw amazing opportunities for my Indigenous Missionary brothers and sisters, but saw them struggling for resources (a $30/month salary, a bike, a few books to study or pamphlets to hand out...). Then I came back to the U.S. and saw vast resources in the hands of my Christian brothers and sisters, but no opportunity or calling to relocate to the least reached areas of the world.
Simply put, I saw opportunities without resources and resources without opportunities. And I did a dangerous thing. I told God, "You've got to do something about that!" He did. He led us to start Worldlink, to link indigenous missionaries with the resources they need to fulfill God's commission and bring His love and Good News to lost and hurting people in their lands. (Reachable, pp. ix-xi)
Worldlink is Built on the Following Working Principles:
God wants this generation of believers to bring His Good News to this generation of unbelievers worldwide.
God has made available to His Church all the resources required to accomplish this task.
Indigenous Missionaries are uniquely positioned to effectively bring God's love and the Gospel to the people of their own countries.
Partnerships that equip and empower Indigenous Missionaries are an effective strategy for spreading the Good News.
Christians around the world have been given stewardship of a vast amount of God's resources in support of their brothers and sister on the front lines of indigenous missionary service.
Worldlink can efficiently link God's people and resources with God's servants in the majority world.
Worldlink will send 100% of funds designated for Indigenous Missionaries to the field.
God wants Worldlink to continue to grow the number of people reached by continuing to grow the number ofIndigenous Missionaries.
To grow the number of Indigenous Missionaries supported, we must continually increase the impact of prayer and financial partners.
A godly, passionate, capable and equipped Board and Staff is critical to the success of Worldlink's endeavors.
Only with the direction of God and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit will our efforts be fruitful.
So, where do we go from here?
Let’s put more workers in more countries to reach more people!
How can we team up to do that? Let me tell you what we are going to do and then suggest what you can do.
We are going to:
Locate, identify, train and unleash highly qualified indigenous Christians to be missionaries in their own countries.
Maintain a lean staff that reflects the highest standards of ethics, financial integrity, and good stewardship.
Send 100% of all donations designated for Indigenous Missionaries to those missionaries for effective outreach ministries.
Maintain rigorous reporting and relational accountability with our Indigenous Missionary partners to assure the highest possible ministry impact.
Humbly and regularly seek God and remind ourselves that without Him none of this will mean anything.
What Can You Do as a Member of the Team?
Be generous in your donations. The opportunities we have to reach people for Christ far outpace the funds that we currently have. Any generous gifts would be incredibly helpful. If you are led, visit our Donate Page to support indigenous missions. (Remember that 100% of funds sent for Indigenous Missionaries go to that missionary's ministry).
Become a Worldlink advocate. Tell others of the amazing things God is doing and the easy ways they can join you to make an immediate and eternal difference in the lives of people in some of the world's hardest places. You can even use Reachable as a tool to give to friends. Request your free copy (or however many you’d like!) and we’ll send them to you!
Thanks for all you do. May God richly bless you!