Nathan Kendall D.Min.
This phenomenological study investigated the characteristics of successful evangelists working in a trans-cultural West African Muslim context. The evangelists were part of a diaspora minority in Upper Guinea, where missions first arrived in 1919 but still shows few results. The potential evangelistic impact of the local Church, as the population of western missionaries diminishes, motivated research into what characteristics describe those diaspora believers who are successful at evangelizing their Muslim host populations. Interviews provided data to compare those who had successfully evangelized Muslims versus those who had only successfully evangelized non-Muslims. The results of the research point to four primary differentiators between the two groups became evident: a dedication to deep prayer, commitment to Bible study, trust in God refined through persecution, and participation in new Christian works. Additionally, some secondary characteristics were identified, including reading the Bible in multiple languages, an emphasis on external community, and evangelization of others as a means of spiritual growth. Lastly, some non-differentiating characteristics were identified: answered prayer, significant friendships across cultural and ethnic boundaries, and the sharing of learning. In other words, read your Bible and pray every day makes a difference.
Chapter 2 of the thesis explores God’s demonstrated desire for all nations to be saved, God’s use of diaspora God-fearers, and evangelism as an expected endeavor for the whole church. The chapter 3 literature review explores diaspora realities, including the reality of few scholarly resources coming out of French West Africa and nuances of diaspora in North America and Europe, with a preference to what has been reported by Africans. There was also a look at multicultural churches and one ethnic group evangelizing another, all within a West African, Islamic context. Not to be missed is the author’s contrarian view on heart-languages in urban, multi-cultural, West African churches.