What does the word “indigenous” mean?
The word Indigenous means “native to the land.” The palm tree is indigenous to the islands of the Caribbean. Transplant it in Canada and you need a green house to keep it alive. But the pine tree spreads all over our northlands because it is native to the soil and climate.
And so it is with missions. A tree that is planted and takes root through the witness of local citizens is “Indigenous”. Think of Saul of Tarsus as he returned to his Greek-speaking world. His ministry gave birth to indigenous missionaries and churches.
Indigenous mission boards are formed when God anoints men and women from indigenous churches for special service among their own people. Several thousand indigenous mission groups are now active for the Lord in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.