We are Not the Hero argues that Western missionary approaches require fundamental reevaluation.
While globalization gives North American Christians unprecedented opportunities to influence the world, we need to take care not to slip into a type of postmodern colonialism in which we make ourselves the experts or the 'hero come to save the day.'
The day has come when all of us who influence or practice missions need to intentionally guide others to look to God and to their own communities for resources, solutions, creativity, ingenuity, hard work, and interdependence, instead of making them perpetual recipients of all the good things we can do for them.
In We Are Not the Hero, missionary Jean Johnson shares lessons learned from her sixteen years in Cambodia, in an area known as the Killing Fields, including why our North American culture, church experiences, and financial solutions to church growth will not work elsewhere. "Due to Jesus' Great Commission and my training in missions at North Central Bible College, I went to Cambodia with the hope of making disciples who make more disciples. I eventually discovered that the means I used to accomplish such a goal became the very stumbling block to achieving this goal.
I had unintentionally created unhealthy dependency on my resources, my expertise, and my culture. People who are psychologically and financially dependent on outsiders do not tend to mobilize themselves to make disciples among their own people and beyond. Little by little, God helped me to shed postures and methods that impose my culture, my North American church experiences, and my money solutions to church growth. In exchange, I implemented a more organic approach in order to foster spontaneous multiplication, sustainability, and cultural relevancy."
This book serves as both an invitation and a practical guide for church planters, missionaries, students, and churches who want to develop their skills in maximizing the potential of indigenous people to heal their communities, tap into their creativity, and mobilize their resources as participants in the Great Commission.