The idea of contextualization is to frame the gospel message in language and communication forms appropriate and meaningful to the local culture and to focus the message upon crucial issues in the lives of the people.

The contextualized indigenous church is built upon culturally appropriate methods of evangelism; the process of discipling draws upon methods of instruction that are familiar and part of local traditions of learning.

The structural and political aspects of leadership are adapted from patterns inherent in national cultures rather than imported from denominational organizations in the home countries of missionaries.

 Sherwood Lingenfelter, Transforming Culture: A Challenge for Christian Mission, Second Edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), 12–13.

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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