Roland Allen is basic reading for a church planter, Missionary Methods: Paul’s or Our’s, in particular. People like Tim Keller, David Hesselgrave, and Ed Stetzer have relied on Allen’s foundational insights. J.D. Payne offers a guided tour through Allen’s life and thought in the following article: The Legacy of Roland Allen: Part One-His Life. An excerpt:

In 1912, Allen published his classic work Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? The title of the text revealed much about the book’s content. Allen advocated that the missionary methods of the Apostle were not antiquated but rather to be applied to missionary endeavors in any day and time. Allen stated that “I myself am more convinced than ever that in the careful examination of his [St. Paul’s] work, above all in the understanding and appreciation of his principles, we shall find the solution of most of our present difficulties.” Toward the end of the work, Allen poignantly wrote that “at any rate this much is certain, that the Apostle’s methods succeeded exactly where ours have failed.”

The following year saw Allen’s publication of Missionary Principles. In this work Allen advocated that the indwelling Holy Spirit provides the missionary zeal. For Allen, the end of all missionary desire is a worldwide “Revelation of Christ.” It was his desire to discuss principles not only related to foreign missionary work, but principles that “could be applied to any work anywhere.”

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