HotFreeBooks.com
Missionary Survey As An Aid To Intelligent Co-Operation In Foreign Missions
by Roland Allen
Previous Part     1  2  3
Home - Random Browse

- - Number of Christians who take any part in Church Government by Vote or Voice. - - Proportion of Total Christian Constituency - - Number of Congregations who take a share as Congregations in Church Government. - - Proportion of Christian Congregations. - - Remarks and Conclusions. - -

By the first question we understand the number of Christians who vote or speak or act in any way, either personally or by electing representatives, in the direction of the common action of the whole Christian community viewed as a unity; by the second question we understand the number of congregations which are represented at any council higher than the council of their own congregation.

We think these questions most unsatisfactory, but we can devise no others. We have no doubt that, if all the foreigners disappeared suddenly, the native Christians would either perish or would speedily adopt a form of Church government which they understood. The whole necessity for these questions arises from the fact that we have foisted upon them foreign systems and are uncertain to what extent they have really grasped them. The consequence is that when we think of a Church capable of standing alone we are in doubt. We do not feel certain that the converts could carry on their government; and some of us think a change in the form of Church government as serious a matter as the change from Paganism to Christianity: it is an excommunicating matter. Inevitably then in an inquiry such as ours we must try to discover how far the people are advanced in the understanding of the organisation which they have been taught. Until they are quite sound in this faith and fully trained in this system, whether it is a circuit or a presbytery or a democratic episcopacy, or a papacy, they cannot possibly stand alone. Who would dare to suggest such a revolutionary idea! Why, they might adopt a native governmental system—something which they understood at once, quite easily, and then where should we be? We know how to administer the system in which we were brought up: it is better that they should learn that.

Finally we make an inquiry concerning the power of the Christians to supply the material needs of their religious organisation. We want to know to what extent they are really dependent on foreign funds, and to what extent they can stand alone financially.

It is tempting to imagine that we can discover this by a mere calculation of the total expenditure on all work carried on in the district and comparing this either with the number of Christians and their relative wealth or poverty, or simply with the contribution which they actually make, concluding that the difference between their contribution, or their estimated power to give, and the cost of the work carried on in the area is the difference between their power to supply their needs and their real needs. But foreign funds are largely spent upon things which, however excellent they may be in themselves, are not really necessary for the religious life of the Christians, such as missionaries' salaries, high schools, colleges, medical institutions, and expensive buildings. Consequently to know the total expenditure in the area is not to know the necessary expenditure. The native Church might maintain its life and conquer the whole district without spending in actual money a tithe of that which we spend on providing the people with medicine and education and buildings and foreign missionaries.

Yet the question cannot be avoided. Missionaries all over the world carefully count every penny which the converts subscribe, and search diligently for some new method of doubling it, in order to lead their converts towards the goal of self-support. What that goal is we do not know. We cannot tell how far the Christians can supply their own needs, if we do not know what the needs really are. And that we do not know. In a certain very real sense Christians can always provide what is necessary for their religious life. They could all always be self-supporting, if we did not invent needs and insist upon them; and what we insist upon depends entirely upon the school in which we were brought up. The standard set, as we have already explained, is purely arbitrary.

Under these circumstances how can we express the position of the native Church with any approximation to truth? We can only suggest that these arbitrary standards should be accepted, and ask that they should be defined in every case. We should ask the missionaries, or the societies, to estimate the amount required to supply that minimum upon which they insist. If we did that, remembering always that the estimate made must be doubtful and arbitrary, and that the native contribution, whilst comparatively large funds are regularly supplied from a foreign source, will never represent the power of the Christian community to supply its own needs, we should at least have some standard by which we might estimate the position of the Christian Church in the country, and its progress. We suggest then that three items should be included in the table: (1) the total expense of carrying on all the work in the station district, whether the funds were provided from foreign or native sources; (2) the amount estimated to cover the necessary expenses of the native Christian Church; and (3) the amount subscribed by the native Christian community. We think these three items taken together would help us to understand the situation.

- - Total Expense of Church and Mission in the Area per Head of Christian Constituency. - - Amount Estimated to Cover all Necessary Expenses of the Native Christian Constituency per Head. - - Amount Subscribed for all Purposes by the Native Christian Constituency per Head. - - Remarks and Conclusions. - -

We have now, we hope, some light on the question how far we are really succeeding in attaining a purpose which we hear constantly proclaimed, as if it were indeed a governing object of our work, the creation of an independent native Church.



CHAPTER IX.

SURVEY OF DISTRICTS WHERE TWO OR MORE SOCIETIES ARE AT WORK AND SURVEY OF MISSIONS WITH NO DEFINED DISTRICTS.

I. Districts in which Two or more Societies are at Work.

Hitherto we have taken for granted that only one missionary society is at work in the district and that the survey is therefore simple; but in many mission station districts some other society is also at work. Occasionally the district of one station overlaps part of the district of a station of another society. In many districts Roman Catholics are at work, and certain forms of their work cannot be ignored, and no form of their work ought to be ignored in surveying the district.

If two missions sent by different societies are at work in the same district then, it would be an immense advantage if the survey of the district could be made a joint production. Union for study is often possible, when union in work is impossible, and the common understanding of the situation is most useful.

But if that is impossible, then each society must survey the whole district, and, what an immense amount of labour would be wasted in the preliminary survey, the physical toil of travelling over the country to see the villages and towns, which must be seen to be known, and must be known to reveal the secret of the task which the mission is founded to fulfil, that labour is known only to one who has undertaken such a task, and will soon be known to anyone who starts out conscientiously to survey any district. But it is helpful and illuminating labour, and it would be far better that the heads of two missions should survey the whole of the same district separately than that neither should survey any of it. If both feel that in any real sense that is "their district," then they ought both to survey it all; for to call a district mine which I have not even surveyed and do not know even by sight is absurd; but it would lighten their labour and help their mutual understanding if they surveyed it together.

If a part of the district overlaps part of another mission district, that part should be surveyed together if possible, or if that is not possible, by each separately.

In this survey the work of no Christian society, however remote ecclesiastically or theologically from the surveyor's point of view, should be omitted. Ignorance of the work done by others is the worst possible form of separation. There is a sense in which it is true that the more remote the ecclesiastical position of another is from our own, the more near we are to definite opposition, the more important it is that we should know what his work is. We may find in it so much to admire that our annoyance at what seem to us his ecclesiastical absurdities may be softened. If we survey the district together we shall perhaps find there is room for both, even if we each start with the persuasion that there is no room for the other anywhere in the world.

On no account must we fail to consider another's work. In educational or medical work we must recognise that a school or a hospital which exists, by whomsoever created, in the district makes a difference to the situation. To deal with the district as if that school or hospital did not exist is to deal with an imaginary district, not with the real one; and no one supposes that there is any advantage in dealing with things that are what they are as if they were something else.

We have observed a certain tendency to recognise this truth in the matter of education and medicine, and to introduce into survey proposals a note, when the educational and medical tables were reached, to remind the surveyor that the educational and medical work of some society of which he is afraid, or from which he thinks himself widely separated, as extreme Protestants from Roman Catholics, must not be ignored; but in the evangelistic and Church tables no such note is inserted. This is, we suppose, a tacit acceptance of the idea that the opposite party's evangelical and church building work can be ignored with trifling loss—that to ignore it does not much matter. But if a man is surveying what he calls habitually "his" district, he is surveying it presumably to get at the facts, and one of the most important facts which he needs to know is how far the preaching of Christ has extended and where Christian churches have been established. Unless then he is prepared to deny the name of Christ to the opposite party (and that is a very serious thing to do), he cannot ignore their churches. The people claim to be Christians and declare that they believe in Christ. If the surveyor without further inquiry rejects them because they belong to a society which he does not like, that may be an exhibition of ecclesiastical zeal, but it is not the science of surveying.

Whatever he may think of them, as a surveyor he has no right to ignore them. He is surveying "his district". There are in it so many persons of various religious belief, amongst them his own converts and these Christians of the opposite party. He perhaps refuses to recognise the latter as Christians; but they are undoubtedly neither Moslems nor Confucianists, nor Buddhists, nor Hindoos, nor do they belong to any of the non-Christian religions. He cannot ignore them. He must take count of them. Therefore if in a district the Protestant and the Roman Catholic cannot survey together, the Protestant who does survey must carefully consider the facts before his face, and endeavour to find out what the facts really are as well as he possibly can. The facts are that Roman Catholics are working in what he calls "his district"; the facts are that there are churches here, and here, and here, and people who call themselves Christians so many, and that the heathen population is by so many less. And there are so many mission priests, and they win converts, and the converts won by them cease to be heathen, for they are sometimes persecuted by their heathen neighbours, even as his own converts are persecuted.

Happily all leading surveyors are realising these obvious facts and are now taking these things into serious account; but it is still necessary to insist on their importance.

In these tables, when other missions are at work in the district, all that is necessary is to add one column of the work of the other missions so far as it is known, or can be ascertained. We are well aware that that easy phrase covers in many cases great practical difficulty. Here is one of the places where estimates may be inevitable. If they are inevitable, they should be estimates, not guesses, and a note should be made of the process by which they were reached. The difference between an estimate and a guess is that an estimate is the result of a definite train of reasoned calculation and a guess is not. For an estimate reasons can be given, for a guess none other than—it occurred to me.

II. The Mission which has no Defined District.

We believe that the vast majority of missions accept a territorial district; but there are missions where the station district has not and cannot be defined.

The idea of the mission is not territorial. The object proposed is not to cover any area with mission stations, nor to establish in every town and village a church or chapel, but to create at a centre a Church of living sons trained and educated by many years, perhaps generations, of care to become the centre of a movement which may cover the whole country; or it may be to influence movements which arise in the religious, political, or social life of the people, and to direct these into Christian channels. In such cases a territorial foundation is impossible. The mission exists in the midst of a people and influences the people; it makes converts, it establishes them in the faith, it cares for them in mind and body, it prepares them to set the moral and religious standard for any Church of the future. It is not concerned directly with the widest possible preaching of the Gospel. When the native Christians whom it is painfully and slowly educating and training come to maturity they will spread the Gospel throughout the length and breadth of the land. It is not, we are told, the business of the Foreign Mission to preach the Gospel in every village of a defined area nor to make itself responsible for such preaching directly: it should give to converts in every country the highest and best and fullest teaching of Christian civilisation, in order that by so doing it may show to all the people of the country an example, by which they may be attracted and influenced. If we take the widest expression of such mission activity we find that to estimate the true value of such work we should be compelled to survey not only the mission and its activities but the social, moral, material, and spiritual state of the people among whom the mission was planted, and seek for signs of a change which we could trace with some certainty to the influence of the mission. That would be a stupendous and most intricate undertaking. Where innumerable forces are at work such as are implied in the impact of western civilisation upon the peoples of the East, or of Africa, it would be extremely difficult to state the exact impression made by the mission, even if we could survey the whole state of the people at regular and definite periods. We do not for a moment doubt that all Christian missions do exercise an influence of this wide and far-reaching character, and from time to time we can see results which clearly spring from it, but we cannot think it wise to set out this vague influence as the primary purpose of a mission. We believe that the Christian missions which aim directly and primarily at the conversion of men and the establishment of a living native Church produce this fruit by the way.

If, however, we take the narrower expressions in the statement of aim which we have set out above, we find in it the purpose of establishing a Church, but the establishment is viewed as the result of a long and elaborate training and cultivation of a comparatively small body of Christians, rather than as the immediate result of widespread work. In such a case we ought to be able to trace progress and to place these missions in a common scheme.

The early tables of work to be done and of the force in relation to that work on a territorial basis certainly fail. The leaders of the mission have not the information and do not want it, but they could almost certainly provide the facts concerning the force at work contained in the tables without the proportions for the district, and they would perhaps be able to fill up most of the other tables omitting proportions to area and population.

Now if they did that we should be able to see the force at work and the type of work in which the mission was strongest and weakest, and the relation of the different types of work to each other, though it is probable that the tables dealing with the native Church as distinct from the Mission would not be filled up. With that information we could almost certainly define more or less exactly the place of the mission in a large area such as the province, or the country; for in dealing with the province or the country we must necessarily mass figures, and we have there a known, or estimated, area and population, to use as a basis for calculation of proportions and comparison, and we are aiming at placing each mission in a larger whole and trying to see what part each takes in the performance of a great work which is world wide in its scope. If the missions then which decline a territorial basis for their work would fill up those tables which reveal the nature of their work and the force engaged in it we should be able to advance to the next stage. This is what we meant when at an earlier stage we remarked that we had drawn our tables to serve a definite purpose, but that we had not ignored the case of the man whose idea of the purpose of a mission differed from our own.



CHAPTER X.

SURVEY OF THE WORK IN A PROVINCE.

In few parts of the world is a mission station really an isolated unit. In most of the countries to which we go there are many stations of many different missions, all aiming more or less definitely at the establishment of a native Church, whatever their conception of the Church may be. In the vast majority of cases these stations have some relationship to one another. The definition of districts for the mission stations is commonly recognised, and in planning new work directors of missions frequently allow themselves to be influenced, in some way and in some degree, by the position of existing mission stations. There are also in some parts of the world bodies composed of leading members of many of the missions that work in the country, who meet to consider the progress of the Christian faith in the province or the country as a whole, and deliberately plan their work with some consideration of the position and character of the work done by the others. Now in all this there is a manifest approach to the idea that mission work in the country or province is a common work, and that the various missions engaged in it are not antagonists, but allies. It is certainly true that we are far from having reached the stage of a common direction and a real unification of work Rivalry and antagonism are still rampant, but the recognition of the fact that we must consider the position and character of other missions in directing our own is a most important advance; and it implies that we ought, in some measure at least, to be able to express the work of any mission station in relation to all the mission work done in the province or country, and to understand, at any rate in some degree, what place it takes in the mission work in the province viewed as a whole. It is true that a great many missionaries would refuse to admit that the recognition of other stations in the planting of our own is an acknowledgment of the unity of our work; but whether they acknowledge it, or whether they do not, it is so, and we for our part recognise it with thankfulness and look forward to a day when missions will not only recognise others by avoiding them, but by planning missions deliberately to assist each other. For that seems to us the necessary conclusion. The moment we recognise a station as a Christian mission station which we must not disturb, we have gone a long way towards recognising it as a mission station which our own must not only not disturb, but must complement; and when we know that one mission must complement another we are really not far removed from establishing our missions with common consultation each to supply what is lacking to the other.

Holding this view, we desire to discover what place each mission station occupies when we take a wider view and survey the province or country. Here we shall be able to adjust many apparent inequalities in the mission stations viewed by themselves. From our previous survey of the mission stations one by one we may have got the impression that some of them as mission stations designed for work in a district were very ill-balanced. The medical work, or institutional work of some kind, may have seemed to be out of all proportion to the other forms of the work, and this impression may remain when we view the province. But on the other hand it may be seriously modified; because when we review the work of the province as a whole, we may find that the institutional work of the province as a whole is out of proportion to the evangelistic work, and in that case we should think the disproportion at the station more serious. On the other hand we might find the institutional work in the province inadequate, and in that case the emphasis which seemed undue in the one place, and may really be improper in that one place, nevertheless, in view of the situation in the whole province, may be shown to be reasonable in relation to the whole province. How then can we gather together the returns from all the stations so as to present a view of the work in the province? For that is the first thing. We cannot put the station into its proper place in the province until we have a view of the work in the province treated as a unity.

In provinces, large cities and towns, which are not reckoned as part of any mission station district, have to be taken into account. These large cities, capitals of provinces, countries, or empires, need special consideration, and must often be surveyed separately. They are centres in which many societies have their head-quarters, and many missionaries live, yet the work done in them is not always so impressive or extensive as the numbers of missionaries might suggest: occasionally the missionaries are all congregated in one quarter of the city, and large portions are practically untouched. In them, too, are sometimes large city congregations, self-supporting indeed and self-governing, but sucking into themselves all the more vigorous elements of the Christian community and employing them within a somewhat narrow circle. The problem of the evangelisation of these cities is a very serious one.

We suggest that these great cities might be treated either as one district or as several, and that they ought to be surveyed systematically by a body representative of all the missions in each city. If a proper survey were made and the facts tabulated, the statistical tables would be similar to those for the station district, and we could use them to complete a survey of the work done in the province treated as a unity.

But to view the work in the province as a unity we do not need all the detail of the station districts, indeed we should only find the multiplication of detail confusing. To gain a general view of work in a large area such as a province or a small country we must first of all select those features which are common to all the parts and vitally important. We venture to suggest that the important features to be represented are five. (1) The work to be done in the whole area. (2) The strength of the whole force at work in relation to the work to be done. (3) The extent to which emphasis is laid on various forms of work. (4) The extent to which different classes, races, and religions in the area are reached. (5) The extent to which the Church has attained to self-support.

1. If the mission stations and their allotted districts covered the whole country, we should need to do no more than add together the returns obtained from the station statistics which we have already drawn up. But in most countries there are large unoccupied areas of the size and population of which we are more or less ignorant. What we have is, either a census return for the whole province, or an estimate of its area and population. In dealing with the whole province then we must treat the station returns of towns and villages occupied and of the numbers of the Christian constituency as work done; and then we must find out the relation of these to the whole area and population. This would have to be done probably first on a large scale map which would show the density of the population in different parts of the area, and would show the stations and the strength of the Christian constituency in relation to the area and population. These facts could then be expressed in a table, and we should gain at once an idea of the extent to which the missions were in a position to reach the population. The table would be exceedingly simple and give us no more than the barest idea of the work to be done in its vaguest expression.

Christian Con- Non-Christian Province. Area. Population. stituency. Population.

If, in addition to this, there was either a census return or a credible estimate of the cities, towns, and villages, in the area, a table could be drawn of the cities, towns, and villages occupied, in the sense that there were Christians resident in them, and the work could be expressed in that form also, which would greatly assist the understanding of the other.

___________ Occupied. Unoccupied. Province. _____ _____ Cities. Towns. Villages. Cities. Towns. Villages. __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

We ought here to repeat that we do not imagine for a moment that the Foreign Missions are to occupy all the villages or even all the cities and towns. We believe that a careful statement of work to be done in this form would very speedily force us to realise, with a clearness and power never before experienced, the truth which we often repeat, that the conversion of the country must be the work of native Christians.

2. The force at work in relation to the work to be done. Here again it would not be sufficient to add together the figures returned from the stations, because in a large area like a province or a small country there are often many missionaries not at mission stations but at some large centre engaged in work for the whole province rather than for any particular mission district; as, for instance, translators or journalists; men engaged in hostels or Y.M.C.A. work; or in large institutions, such as training colleges, medical or educational or industrial; or in some special form of Christian philanthropy, such as work amongst lepers, blind, deaf and dumb, and other infirm or defective persons; or men engaged in assisting the missionaries all over the country as directors, or forwarding agents; and all these must be taken into account in considering the foreign force in the province. Including all these we should get a table for the foreign force similar to that which we had for the station, and that force we could relate directly to the work to be done.

Re- marks Popu- Total Propor- Propor- Single Propor- and lation. Foreign tion to Men. tion to Wives. Women. tion to Con- Force. Popu- Popu- Popu- clu- lation. lation. lation. sions.

We cannot sacrifice the proportions, because the life is in them. Comparison of conditions in different areas can only be made on proportions. The mere statement of the figures with the suggestion that anyone can work out the proportions would reveal a singular ignorance of human nature.

For the native force all that we need for the present purpose is a table that will show us the Christian constituency, communicants, and workers in the whole province in proportion to one another. Here also we must include many workers and some congregations in large towns which the station district survey may have omitted.

- Total. Proportion Proportion Proportion Remarks of of Christian of and Population. Constituency. Communicants. Conclu- sions. - Christian constituency - Communicants - Paid workers - Unpaid Workers -

3. It is important to consider carefully the proportions in which the force is engaged in different forms of work since, as we have already explained, these different forms are often, if not generally, treated as distinct and separate methods of propaganda, and men want to know what is the effectiveness of each. They ask, what are the fruits of medical and educational work, and they expect an answer in terms of additions to the Church. If the dominant object of missions is the establishment of a native Church this is indeed not unnatural; but, as we have already said, many educational and medical missionaries might resent this demand, for they have other ideas of the nature and purpose of their work. Nevertheless, since this native Church is constantly presented to us as the dominant purpose of all our efforts, it is only right that we should make the inquiry here, as we did in the earlier chapters, and ask how the force in the field is divided. It seems almost absurd that we should have no idea in what proportion medicals, educationalists, and evangelists should be employed in any field. In some countries medical work is by far the most effective, if not the only possible form of propaganda; in some fields the evangelists can work effectively almost alone, and medical institutions are not the same necessity, and their establishment does not produce great results in the building of the Church when compared with the work of evangelists and educationalists. In some places their aid was at first apparently necessary to success, but as time went on that first desperate importance ceased. We have not so large a medical force that we can afford to use it for any but the most important and necessary purposes; yet, if the establishment of a native Church is the dominant purpose, large numbers of medicals are doing work which is (from this point of view only) of second-rate importance, whilst work which only they could do is left undone, and cries aloud for their assistance. Similarly, if the establishment of a native Church is really the dominant object, educationalists are often wrongly directed and placed. They are not producing fruit in this regard (of course in this regard only) in anything like the abundance which they might produce if they were free to attack the real questions of the education of the native Church. In many centres they are doing splendid work for the enlightenment of the people, but close beside them are large bodies of Christians who from the point of view of the establishment of a native Church need their help much more.

We ought then to know in each province how the force is divided and what is the fruit of the labours of each class of missionaries viewed from the standpoint of the building up of the native Church.

Now if we know the proportions of the workers in each class in each country, and if we could have a table which told us with any degree of accuracy the numbers of the inquirers, communicants, and places opened by the labours of each class, we should surely have some facts from which we might gain light on this most practical question, in what proportion the work of each class of workers was most effective in each country as an evangelistic and church-building agency. We propose then two tables (see opposite page).

(i)

Paid Amount of Amount of Remarks Mission- Native Foreign Native and Con- aries Workers. Funds. Contributions. clusions. - Evangelistic - Medical - Educational - Other forms of work.

(ii)

Inquirers Places Opened Remarks Derived Communicants Directly Through and Con- From Derived from Influence of clusions. - Evangelistic - Medical - Educational

If we desire to know the influence of our medical and educational work upon the native Church we ought certainly to have a table which, for the schools at least, would show us what proportion of the pupils who passed through the schools became valuable members of the Church. But every one who has had any scholastic experience, and has tried to follow the after-history of his pupils, knows that that is not easy, even in external and material affairs, and when the inquiry is concerned with internal convictions and religious influence that difficulty is insuperable. A few specially endowed and devoted educationalists could indeed tell the after-history of a considerable number of their pupils, and ideally all schools ought to have a record of the history of pupils for at least a few years after leaving the school; but there would always be a percentage of loss; in many cases that percentage would be very high, and we doubt whether many schools have any record at all. Under these circumstances to put into an inquiry such as that which we propose a question concerning the after-life of scholars or patients seems almost impossible. Yet we cannot be content. There are mission schools which go on year after year educating boys for a business career, and generation after generation of boys pass through the school, large sums of mission money are expended on them, and the results from a missionary point of view are shrouded in Cimmerian gloom; or the general darkness is relieved by one or two exceptional pupils who, because they do very well, appear to justify the existence of the institution in which they were educated, though they would probably have been as valuable Christians if they had been educated in any other school. In this way a very low average is often concealed. If a school is judged by a few exceptionally good scholars, it should also be judged by a few exceptionally bad ones. It is indeed of serious importance that the missionary value of some of our medical and educational, especially the educational, institutions should be carefully examined and tested by an appeal to indisputable facts. It is generally supposed that education in mission schools must necessarily produce a strong, enlightened, and zealous Christian community. That it produces a large number of Christians intellectually enlightened is certain: that they are zealous evangelists is not as certain. We want a statistical table to reveal the missionary value, not the commercial value, of the education given. But what table can we draw? The preceding table which sets forth inquirers and communicants is clearly insufficient though it is better than nothing. Until every school keeps a careful record of the after-history of at least a large number of its pupils it seems impossible to get any clear light on the question.

4. With regard to the extent to which different races and classes are reached by the missions, we may safely assume that the Christian missions ought to extend their benefits to all classes and races in the area, and that there ought to be some proportion between the efforts made in each case. If, and when, the responsible leaders of the missions decided that the time had come to concentrate on one particular kind of work for one particular class, we may be perfectly certain that they would have no difficulty in justifying their action. But in any case action should not be taken without consideration of proportions, and, therefore, it is important that the proportions should be known.

But in dealing with work in the province or small country we cannot simply repeat the table prepared for the mission district. In the province or country there are often missionaries at work who give themselves up wholly to one class. It is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish every possible form of work; but seeing that very considerable work is done amongst students, we have thought it well to add one column in which the proportion of the children of different classes who are attending Christian schools or living in Christian hostels is set forth:—

____________ Agri- Remarks Percentage Stud- Offi- cultural Traders. Labourers. Crafts- and of: ents. cials. Small- men. Conclu- Holders. sions. ___ _ __ __ __ __ __ In Population ___ _ __ __ _____ In Christian Constituency ___ _ __ __ __ __ __ In Christian schools and hostels, percentage of children of ___ _ __ __ __ __ __

With respect to work among different races, castes, etc., no addition to the table prepared for the district seems necessary, and we therefore repeat it:—

- Races, Religious Castes, etc., whatever Remarks they may be. And Conclusions. - In Population - In Christian Constituency -

5. Concerning self-support, one table should, we think, suffice. We cannot possibly adopt any estimated necessary expenditure such as we proposed in the table for the station district because in the province that estimate would be almost impossible to make. Different missions have different ideas, and their estimates have for themselves some reality; but they have no reality for others, and a mere average of the estimates given for all the missions of the province would have still less reality. It would be an absurd guess, meaning nothing. If we want to judge progress in self-support we must have some definite key figure by which to judge it. What figure then can we use? The total cost of all the work carried on in the province is an impossible figure.[1] The mere contribution of the native Christians by itself means nothing. That is the figure generally given. The native Christian subscribed $6000 last year, $7000 this year. Here is progress. The progress is an addition of $1000. But does that tell us their progress towards self-support unless we know what self-support implies? In the year the Church ought to have increased in numbers, and the $7000 may represent exactly the same position as the $6000 represented last year. Expenses may have increased: the $7000 may be actually further removed from self-support than the $6000 last year. We must have a proportion of which we can trace the variation if we want to see progress. But is there any expense which we can use to strike the proportion? Suppose then we suggest the pay of all evangelistic and pastoral workers and provision and upkeep of churches, chapels, and preaching rooms. That would at least give us something to work by. But it might be difficult to calculate. We would propose then, as a secondary item, some easily calculable and known expense, something which every missionary accountant knows, such as the pay of all native pastors and evangelistic workers, and then compare with these the contributions of the Christians for Church and evangelistic work only, excluding all fees for education and medicine. That would, we think, give us a standard which we could apply without having to consider complications introduced by such things as Government grants to schools or hospitals. We propose then to judge progress in self-support thus:—

- Total Cost Total Total of all Salaries of Native Evangelistic all Paid Contribution, Province. and Native excluding Remarks and Pastoral Evangelistic School or Conclusions. Work, Men Workers, Hospital and Material. including Fees or Pastors. Donations. - -

[Footnote 1: In Dr. Eugene Stock's "History of the C.M.S.," vol. ii., p. 420, we are told that "In 1863,... 400 families raised 1371 rupees, equal then to L137. These families consisted mainly of labourers earning (say) 2s. a week; so that a corresponding sum for 400 families of English labourers earning 12s. a week would be L137 x 6 = L822, or over L2 a year from each family. A few years later, taking the whole of the C.M.S. districts in Tinnevelly and reckoning catechumens as well as baptised Christians, their contributions were such that, supposing the whole thirty millions of people in England were poor labourers earning 12s. a week, and there were no other source of wealth, their corresponding contributions should amount to L6,000,000 per annum." Yet he says on the very next page that "It was not possible for the native Church, liberal as its contributions were, to maintain its pastors and meet its other expenses (he does not say what the other expenses were) entirely. The society must necessarily help for a while.... This grant, in the first instance, had to be large enough to cover much more than half the expenditure."

If this was the case in one part of a province, what would happen if we took the whole expense of all work carried on in a whole province or country and used that as a standard by which to test progress in self-support?]

Turning now from the force at work we must consider the force in training, for this is prophetic. Let us then take first a table which shows the proportion in which students are being trained for pastoral and evangelistic work, for medical mission work, and for educational mission work, in the province or country, regardless of the place at which they are being trained, whether that place is inside or outside the area under consideration. This ought to show us on what lines we may expect the work to develop in the near future.

Total For Evangel- Students istic Work, Propor- For Propor- For Educa- Remarks in including the tion of Medical tion of tional and Training. Pastorate. Total. Work. Total. Work. Conclu- sions

Then we must examine more closely, if we can;—and first of the evangelistic workers. The difficulty is to classify, because ecclesiastical nomenclature is so confused that it is almost impossible to use any terms which would be widely recognised. The best we can do is to distinguish grades of training, beginning from the top thus:—

1st grade, college or university. 2nd " high school. 3rd " regular Bible school. 4th " intermittent, irregular Bible instruction.

It will probably be found that the first grade is commonly prepared for, and looks forward to, the charge of a settled congregation, or of an organised church, and the lower grades do the pioneer work, and it may well suggest itself to thoughtful men whether this is rightly so.

Then, educationalists in training: again we divide by grades roughly:—

1st grade, college or university. 2nd " normal school. 3rd " high school. 4th " teachers of illiterates.

The college students presumably look forward to work in the high schools, or colleges, or normal schools; the normal school pupils to work in normal schools, high schools, and large primary schools; the high school pupils to work in village schools; and the teachers of illiterates to village work, or work among the poor in the towns. Of medicals the generally recognised distinctions seem to be, qualified practitioners, assistants, and nurses.

Following these lines we should obtain simple prophetic tables for each of the three branches of work.

(i) Students in Training for Evangelistic Work.

1st Grade. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. College. High School. Regular Intermittent. Bible School Teaching -

(ii) For Educational Work.

1st Grade. 2nd. 3rd. Teachers of College. Normal. High School. Illiterates. -

(iii) For Medical Work.

1st Grade. 2nd. 3rd. To be Qualified Doctors. Assistants, including Dispensers, Nurses. etc.

If we had those tables for men and women we should see fairly plainly how the work might be expected to develop.

But here we ought to remember the difficulty which we set forth earlier in discussing the missionary influence of our various activities, medical and educational, from a Church building point of view. A great many boys are educated and trained at mission expense to be evangelists, medicals, and teachers in mission employ, who serve indeed for a period according to their contract and then disappear into Government service or private practice. It is a serious question whether missionaries can be raised up successfully in this way. "I will give you training if you will promise to serve the mission," is not a very certain way of securing ready, wholehearted, zealous service of Christ. We have found out its uncertainty in many cases at home; we have found it out in still more frequent cases in the mission field. Unless we keep a very careful record of the after-life of those whom we train, and a very honest one, we are apt to ignore the failure, a failure which we cannot properly afford, and consequently we cannot know what we are really doing by our training. We ought to know the truth in this matter, both for our encouragement and our admonition. Happily here, we think, we can find an easy and a valuable test. If we ask what proportion of those whom we train continue in their missionary work after the end of their first term of service, we shall certainly have some enlightenment; for it is true of medicals and educationalists, and of evangelists, though in a much less degree, that if any man continues in missionary work after he has fulfilled the letter of his contract, it will generally be because he has his heart in the work; for missionary work seldom, if ever, offers the emoluments of Government service, or of private practice. We ask then—

SURVEY OF WORK IN A PROVINCE

- Evangelistic Medical Educational - - Total Students - - Trained at Mission Expense, Wholly or in Part. - - Number who Continue in Mission Work after the end of the Term of their Contract. - - Proportion of Total Students who so Continue. - - Remarks and Conclusions. - -

If the institutions in which the training is actually carried on lie within the province, then we ought to have tables such as we have for the schools in the station area for these institutions. We need no elaborate statistics in this place, because the work of these institutions should be specially treated in departmental surveys. Here, all that we need is to relate the work of the schools or hospitals which were omitted in the station district survey, because they served a larger area than the station area, to the work done in the province or country. The educational returns from each station area must be added together and the returns of these larger institutions added to the total educational statistics; that will give us the work done in the larger area in proportion to population.

But in the province it is important to consider the relation in which the different grade schools stand to one another; because if the aim of the missionary educational system is the education of the Christian community, and the higher schools are designed primarily for Christian pupils from the lower schools, this relation is of importance. It is possible to build an organisation too narrow at the base and too heavy at the top, and then to fill the higher schools with non-Christian pupils without any definite understanding of the way in which that practice is to serve the main purpose of the mission. Then these schools stand on a distinct and separate basis from the rest of the mission activities, and the work of Christian missions in the country is split, part aiming directly at the establishment of a native Christian Church, and part "aiming at the general improvement of morals, and social, religious, and political enlightenment. Thus we arrive at that chaotic state in which the mission as a whole is not subordinate to any dominant idea of the purpose for which it exists, which alone can unify the work of all its members. But if the colleges and schools are designed for mutual support, and if the higher have any relation to the lower grades, then there must be some proportion between the base and the superstructure, and that proportion must be known and expressed in any survey worthy of the name. We include, therefore, the following table:—

- Mission Proportion Proportion Remarks Schools, to to and Number Population. High Conclusions. of. Schools. - Primary Schools - High Schools - Normal Schools - Colleges - - -

In the province also we must know the educational facilities afforded by non-missionary agencies, if we are to have any true conception of the work of the educational missions. We must therefore add a table for these schools.

Non- Proportion Remarks. Missionary to Schools, Population. Number of. - Primary Schools - High Schools. - Normal School - Colleges. -

Here it is not necessary for us to find the proportion between the higher and lower grade schools, because we are not surveying the non-missionary educational work, and their scheme of proportions is not our business.

A comparatively slight addition to the tables for medical work in the various station districts will suffice to give an adequate impression of the medical work done in the whole area. We need not go into details, for the medical work should be, and generally is, reviewed by Medical Boards in their reports. For us now, all that is needed is the addition of tables, similar to those which we used for hospitals in the station area, for hospitals excluded from any station survey.

Two other subjects ought to be included in this provincial survey, namely, literature and industrial work. First, we must try to find a table which will express the work done by those important missionaries who are engaged in providing Christian literature, both for the Christian community and the heathen outside. Here we find once more the difficulty that, whilst a few missionaries are wholly engaged in this form of missionary work, much is produced by missionaries who have already been included in the tables as either evangelistic or educational or medical missionaries, and we also touch bookselling and other kindred commercial questions. With the commercial aspect of this work we cannot deal. The following tables will throw light on the extent to which Christian literature is being produced and read:—

(i)

- Number of Missionaries wholly Engaged Proportion of Total in Literary Work. Missionaries. - - - -

- Number of Vernacular Number of Proportion of Sales Christian Books Produced Christian Books to Population. in the Year. Sold in the Year. - Bibles or Bibles or Scripture Other Scripture Other Portions. Books. Portions. Books. - - - - - -

If the business side of literary work is difficult, the whole position of industrial missions is still more difficult. In some countries industrial missions seem to be trading ventures with a Christian intention, in others industrial missions are really almost entirely educational establishments. The best tables which we have ever seen dealing with this subject were those drawn by Mr. Sidney Clark in one of his papers, "From a Layman to a Layman".[1] All that we can do is to suggest that industrial missions which are in the main clearly and unmistakably educational should be included in the educational work, and that the missions with large commercial interests, even if they are doing a valuable educational work for the community, should be treated separately, thus:—

[Footnote 1: Printed for private distribution by Mr. S.J.W. Clark, 3 Tudor Street, Blackfriars, London, E.C. 4.]

Industrial Missions,

(a)

- Province. Number of Amount of Mission Proportion of Industrial Funds Allotted to Total Mission Missions. such Work. Funds. - __ ___ ____ ____

(b)

- Number of Number of Missionaries Proportion of Province. Industrial Engaged in such Total Institutions. Institutions. Missionaries -

(c)

- Number of Number of Proportion of Province. Industrial Native Agents Native Christian Missions. Employed. Workers Employed. -

In some missions the proportion of missionaries and native workers so employed would be very small; in others they would be very considerable. There is now a tendency to hand over some of the industrial work as it develops along commercial lines to Boards of Christian men who are interested in the social and spiritual aspect of the work.

In the province we must also consider union work, work done in common by two or more societies,[1] sometimes evangelistic, sometimes medical or educational training, sometimes the establishment, or enlargement of an educational or medical institution; or sometimes, as in Kwangtung in South China, several societies unite in a "Board of Co-operation". This union of societies for the better and more efficient performance of their work is a most important development of the last few years: important both to the workers on the field and to us at home. We ought, therefore, to have a short table to show what is being done.

- Number of Societies Number Co-operating in Number of of Societies Remarks Societies Evangelistic Medical Educational Co-operating and at Work. Work. Work. Work. in all Work. Conclusions. - - - - - - - -

[Footnote 1: The larger and more important movements towards corporate union, such as those now taking place in S. India, China, and E. Africa, lie outside the scope of this survey until their completion affects their statistical returns. Then the importance of them will speedily appear.]



CHAPTER XI.

THE RELATION OF THE STATION TO THE WORLD.

We have now dealt with the survey of the station and of the province or small country, but the final end of missionary work is the attainment of a world-wide purpose. The Gospel is for the whole world, not for a fragment of it, however big. Missionary work cannot properly be carried on in any place except by means and methods designed with a view to the whole, and missions can never be properly presented to us at home so long as we are taught to fix our eyes on small areas; because the great characteristic of missions is their vastness. This is what is so uplifting and ennobling in the work. Every little piece of mission work ought to be directed on principles capable of bearing the weight of the whole. We ought to be able to say, "The whole world can be converted by these means and on these principles which we are here employing in this little village". If the methods and the principles are so narrow that we can build no great world-wide structure on them, we can take little more interest in them than we do in the petty politics of some little parish at home.

We have then yet to demand that we shall be able to put every little station into its proper place in this larger whole, and to see how its principles and methods are illumined by the vision of the whole, being established with the design of accomplishing the whole task. We turn then now to this larger view of mission work. The tables which we have drawn for a province or small country would enable us to compare the work in each area with another such area in the larger whole, and to judge whether we were unduly neglecting any; where the Church was strongest and where it was least established; where it was more capable and where it was less capable of taking over that work which rightly belongs to it, of extending its own boundaries, and of maintaining its own life. We should not send hasty missions here or there because some interesting political event attracts the eyes of men to this or that particular country, but on definite missionary principles, acting on a clear and reasonable understanding of the missionary situation in the world.

The commission of Christ is world-wide, the claim of Christ is world-wide, the work of Christ, the Spirit of Christ are all-embracing; and the work which missionaries do in His name should be all-embracing to. We should conduct all our work, and plan all our work, at home and abroad, with our eyes fixed on the final goal, which is for us, so long as we are on this earth, coterminous only with the limits of the habitable globe. We cannot be content to approach even the largest areas as though our action was limited by them. All our policy in every part should be part of a policy designed for the whole. If it is not designed to accomplish the whole it is not adequate for any part.

How then could we gain a vision of the whole, a whole composed of such vast and diverse parts? Obviously we must have for every country in which any missionary work is carried on some common returns, either those which we venture to suggest or others which some abler minds might suggest; but that they must be common to all, and fundamental in character, is obvious; and they must be reduced to proportions on a common basis, or comparison and combination will be impossible; and they must be as few as possible in order to avoid confusion.

We suggest, then, that if we had the four tables which follow we should possess a reasonable basis, sufficient for our present needs, especially since we suppose they would be supported by the tables for the different provinces, countries, and stations which we have already suggested, and they ought to be supplemented by surveys made by each society of its own work and by departmental surveys of medical, educational, industrial, and literary work made for the special direction of each of these branches. But for a first general view of the whole we propose:—

(1) A table showing the force at work in the area in relation to the population:—

- Proportion to Population. Province Popula- Total Chris- Com- or tion. Foreign tian municants Paid Unpaid Country Mission- Constitu- or Full Workers. Workers. Area. aries. ents. Members - - - __ __ __ __ ___ __ __ -

That would give us a general view of the force at work in relation to the work to be done and of the proportions between its constituent parts. Then (2):—

- Proportion of Paid Proportion of Workers Unpaid Workers - Propor- Christian tion - - Constitu- of To To ency. Liter- To Christian To Christian ates. Com- Constitu- Com- Constitu- municants. ency municants. ency. - - - - - -

That would give us an idea of the character and power of the force. (3)

- Percentage Percentage Paid of Total of Total Missionaries. Native Foreign Funds Native Workers. Employed in. Contributions Employed in. -+ + -+ + - Evangelistic + -+ + - Medical + -+ + - Educational + -+ + - Other forms of work -+ + -+ + -

That would give us relative emphasis on different forms of work.

(4)

- - Total Amount Paid Relation of Native Christian to Native Evangel- Total Native Contribution to Constituency. istic Workers In- Contribution. Pay of Workers. cluding all Pastors. - - ___ ____ ___ ___

That would give us some idea of the extent to which the native Christians support the existing work.

Now if we could form some idea of the force at work in relation to the country in which it is working; and some idea of the character of the force; and some idea of the relative emphasis laid on different forms of work, and some idea of the extent to which the native Christians support the work, we should, we hope, be able to form a reasonable estimate of the extent and progress of our efforts in the world. The whole number of forms would not be very large, for there would only be about 150 areas from which such forms would be required, and these could be combined so as to give us a view of the situation in the world such as the mind could grasp.

This is, we admit, rather a hasty and tentative expression of the way in which we might satisfy the present need; but it seems to us that the time is ripe for the consideration of this great subject, and we can think of no better plan than to propose tables, and then to leave others to criticise and amend them, or to suggest better ones, or better methods of attaining an object which few would deny to be desirable.

With proper tables, these or others, we should then be able to trace the meaning and results of each station which we founded and to put it into its place in a reasoned scheme of things, and that is the crying need.

THE END

Previous Part     1  2  3
Home - Random Browse