I’m reading through a book that will soon be released. Written by Ryan Chappalear (founder of Africa For Jesus), it is being published right now. In the book, Ryan is comparing the spread of Coca Cola with the spread of the Gospel. I’ll put a full review together for my blog later, but wanted to share this extended quote with you. I hope that it begins to change the way you think about effectively spreading the Gospel to the ends of the world.
When Coca-Cola expands, they understand that in order for their brand to be embraced, it must be looked upon as a local product. That is why most bottling plants are operated by local businessmen and jobs are filled by locals. One or two Coke reps from the USA may visit now and again, but in order for Coca-Cola to have the greatest impact in the local market, it must appear indigenous.
I first realized this when I was in Bible school. My plans were to live in an African village, learn the language, learn the culture, and then preach the Gospel. I thought that in my lifetime, I could reach five villages with the Gospel. But God showed me a new way. A better idea. I learned that for 100 years, God had sent Western missionaries to Africa to train them. There are now literally thousands of Bible training schools across Africa, effectively preparing their own people to spread the Gospel.
After discovering this, it no longer made sense for me to go myself. I could only reach five villages. But if I helped locals become missionaries, I could literally help reach thousands of villages with the Gospel. Almost immediately, I knew my purpose in life: To empower the African Church to reach their own people. (chapter 2, pages 1-2)