About the Author

Aubrey Sequeira

Aubrey Sequeira grew up in South India. He is a PhD candidate in biblical theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is presently a pastoral intern at the NETS Center for Church Planting and Revitalization in Williston, VT. You can follow him on Twitter at @AubreySequeira.

Aubrey Sequeira has a set of articles in which he lays out a plea for the Western church to return to a gospel-centered approach to missions. He focuses on three areas where he sees that the need to return to “Gospel Sanity in Missions.” In the first part, Obsessed with Numbers, he makes the case that “rapid growth” reports from the mission field are often based on inflated numbers and questionable methods. The rapid growth often comes at the expense of discipleship. But his article is not just a critique, it also presents a better way. “So I plead with my brothers and sisters in the West: In your sending of missionaries and in your support of indigenous gospel-laborers, please prioritize faithfulness over efficiency, quality over quantity, and growth in truth over growth in numbers.”
The second part, Over-awed by the “Supernatural”, he makes the case that the Western church has bought into the notion that the Holy Spirit cannot actively function in the west because “we put God in a box”. However, at the same time, these same people are fascinated and allured by all the amazing testimonies and reports they hear from what is happening “out there” on the mission field. They believe that the Holy Spirit has just moved. “At times, Westerners get so googly-eyed with sensational stories from the East that they don’t even notice the non-existence of any form of the gospel message.” Again, he leaves us with plea, “My brothers and sisters, the only way for true gospel growth to happen in India is for us to remember how gospel growth comes: through the gospel. Let’s not get carried away by stories of dreams and visions, but let’s stand firm on the bedrock of God’s inspired Word.”
Over-Eager for Contextualization is the final part of the set. Aubrey points out how he has seen first hand where Western missionaries bring syncretism and a garbled gospel. He points out that contextualization is necessary but it must be based in God’s Word. At Radius, we teach that critical contextualization is necessary to make the gospel comprehendible not palatable. In the article, the author makes this plea, “beware the forms of contextualization that fall short of biblical Christianity. Whenever possible, partner with faithful national church leaders, so that you better understand the culture and how the gospel should take shape in that culture.”
We highly recommend reading this set of articles.
Part I: Obsessed with Numbers
Part II: Over-awed by the “Supernatural”
Part III: Over-Eager for Contextualization