The Voice Of Experience

Cecil Willis

About one hundred years ago a group of brethren went out from us to form the Christian Church denomination; they committed themselves then to human institutions. After a century of multiplying human institutions, what have they to say of the practice? At the National Missionary Convention held in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on September 29, 1966, Max Ward Randall, a Christian Church missionary to Zambia, Africa said:

"I feel increasingly that we need to exercise prayerful caution. Institutionalism begets institutionalism. Missions organization begets missions organization. To those involved in an institutional program, it is but one short step to make the institution sacred, and woe be unto anyone presuming to criticize the institution. This is multiplied many times more with reference to missions organization. It becomes blasphemy to criticize the sacred cow.... we need to carefully and prayerfully compare the contribution our heavy investments in medical and educational institutions make evangelistically with the contribution made by similar or smaller investments toward the direct evangelistic approach. Our task is first of all to preach the gospel, to evangelize, to plant the Lord's church.... In the newly emerging countries of Africa, both the educational and medical facilities are being taken over gradually by the governments" (THE RESTORATION HERALD, October, 1966).

January 1968