WITHIN REACHED PROGRESS JOURNEY

This scale was developed in partnership with leading missionary organizations and BLESS board member Dr. Todd Ahrend, one of the world’s authorities on mission outreach. It identifies the progress of cross-cultural workers as they journey with UPGs toward a healthy indigenous church. 

Hiking

1—ON-SITE TRAINING

Cross-cultural workers are trained and on-site.

After years of contemplation & prayer, a decision is made to go. After raising financial support, the worker goes with training and support from the local church and is enlisted with a sending agency.

2—LEARNING MAJORITY LANGUAGE

The majority language is learned. 

Often there are two languages to learn; the majority (or trade) language is a common tongue spoken by the majority of the population and necessary for commerce, trade etc. 

3—LEARNING MINORITY LANGUAGE

A minority language is learned.

This is the heart language of the particular people group, the language where most spiritual decisions are made, and their best understanding of God’s word happens.

4—TRANSLATING SCRIPTURE

Translation of Scripture has begun.

The cross-cultural workers have developed deep friendships with several local leaders who can and do assist in the translation.

5—SHARING THE GOSPEL

The Gospel is being shared in the minority language by the cross-cultural workers.

In some cases, there may not be a written version of the heart language, in which case this step can require creating an alphabet and literacy training.

6—DISCIPLING NEW BELIEVERS

New believers are being discipled.

This is often commensurate with baptisms, although it can happen earlier and later. The new believers are equipped with the Gospel and trained to share it themselves.

7—NEW BELIEVERS MAKING NEW DESCIPLES

Local believers are now discipling others.

The translation is likely continuing, but enough has been taught and trained that the people are reproducing believers amongst themselves.

A community of disciple-makers is being developed; they are fellowshipping, studying, encouraging, and helping each other reach friends and family

8—EQUIPPING INDIGENOUS LEADERS

Disciple-makers are equipped to lead the local church.

Likely along the way, some structures have been built, which could include schools, medical facilities, and a church.

The missions team is now preparing the local leaders to lead their church.

9—INDIGENOUS LEADERS LEADING

The church is now being led by indigenous believers.

The cross-cultural workers are in the pews - not behind the pulpit.

They have adequate access to Scripture in their heart language.

10—CHURCH THRIVING

The people group has a viable church, is equipped, and the cross-cultural workers can return home.

Indigenous elders have been appointed and are shepherding the church.