Grassroots and Indigenous Movement

Grassroots and indigenous ownership encapsulates the ethos and strategy of Ethnos Movement International

Grassroots and indigenous ownership does not mean that we do not need foreign missionaries, or missionaries that will cross cultures anymore.  Rather it means that the role of these missionaries might change from what it used to be in the past.  Cross-cultural missionaries will serve as catalysts through training, skills transfer and, mobilization of grassroots, indigenous, and self-sustaining movements.  Their role will be to help the locals develop cultural and contextual models that help them to be more self-duplicating and self-sustaining in their own mission processes.


We envision planting a small team of approximately seven missionaries to form a core Ethnos team in each country of Africa and beyond. The core Ethnos team will be a mix of foreign and local missionaries and will act as catalysts that mobilizes and serves the grassroots movements in each respective country. They will help local missionaries with discipleship, skills training and establishment of community development projects in a targeted unreached communities. The core Ethnos team will be responsible for preserving the focus on solid doctrine and the mission of targeting the unreached communities.


The indigenous, grassroots movement will be characterized by missionaries who are tent making professionals but also functioning as church planters. For example, a school teacher receives training in discipleship and church-planting, and applies for a job in a targeted  unreached community to work as a school teacher. At the same time, the missionary will plant churches and receive continuous support and training from the core Ethnos team.


Some of advantages of the grassroots and indigenous movement are:

  • The major challenge of funding “professional missions” or “career missions” is greatly reduced.  Our funding structures are more in line with giving the missionaries their natural, occupational identities, and reduces the amount of administration required.
  • There is less danger of red tape and bureaucracy that often distracts from the focus of the ministry.
  • People have more freedom to follow strategies that are local and contextually appropriate.
  • There is enough leadership presence to keep the focus on Jesus, the Word, and the unreached. The core Ethnos teams will tirelessly work on serving the impact teams through skills development, discipleship and missions training. These trainings will keep the impact teams motivated, energized and engaged.
  • The language acquisition time is shortened and the risk of stopping the work due to immigration and work permits etc. is reduced.
  • Local identification and ownership of the ministries is enhanced.