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GMI World
A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Spring 2000


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Listen First Speak Later Network

Haste makes waste-a proverb for missions

Below is the cover of a pocket-sized Mongolian edition of the book of Proverbs. Mongolian curiosity is rising about the larger book from which these wise sayings come.

Mongolian proverb booklet

Haste makes waste is one of the many proverbs that most missionaries overlook in their haste to do mission. Whether you think it applies to mission or not, consider this-of all the titles you are glancing at in this newsletter, this one caught your eye. Why? That's what proverbs do. They arrest people's attention and stimulate their curiosity.

Arresting people's attention and stimulating their curiosity is exactly what an evangelist wants to do in an unreached people group. Why not employ local proverbs for that purpose? Why not increase the impact of gospel communication by tying it to something very familiar to local people?

If that makes sense to you, you may want to join the emerging email network of our anti-haste campaign, which we call "Listen First, Speak Later" (see "The 5/40 Approach to the 10/40 Window" GMI Info Fall/Winter '99). The network encourages the research and writing of short cultural profiles based on local proverbs as a means of starting evangelistic conversations.

Five people have already officially registered in the network, 18 more have requested the guidelines, and another 21 have expressed interest in some lesser way. Network members will exchange news of their various methods, experiences, and publications, including some things they were doing long before GMI started talking about "Listen First."

For example, two linguists in North Africa collected 800 local proverbs as part of their first two-years of language learning. A short-term worker in Cambodia has nearly completed a "Listen First" profile based on field work last summer. A mission in Brazil has compiled a short list of Brazilian proverbs and included it in the orientation course for missionaries coming to Brazil.

To receive a twelve-page set of guidelines covering the goals and possible methods of "Listen First" research, write to Stan Nussbaum (email [email protected]). The guidelines include a registration form for the network. Make haste. Just do it. Time's a-wastin'!

-by Dr. Stan Nussbaum, GMI's Staff Missiologist.

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