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Ralph Winter Completes His Service 1924-2009

Ralph Winter Completes His Service

Missionary Scholar, Motivator, Mover and Visionary died on May 24th, 2009 at 84.

Ralph Winter one of the most influential Evangelical missions leaders has completed a tenure of service for the Lord that began, at least as a full-time missionary, in 1956 in Guatemala where he served with the Presbyterian church of ten years.

Upon return from Guatemala, Winter began is twenty years of teaching and motivating missionaries and missionaries to-be at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California.

In 1976 the master teacher moved to role of master missions strategist by founding the U.S. Center for World Missions, not far from Fuller.

I have been inspired for many years as I read Dr. Winter’s editorials in Frontier Missions. In recent years he has coined a term “re-amateurization of missions”, referring to the preference among many churches and Christian leaders to emphasize short-term missions over well thought out strategic missions planning and evaluation. “Missions, it seems, has become any Christian volunteering to be sent anywhere in the world at any expense to do anything for any time period.”

Ralph Winter was revolutionary, in my view, in his approach to such world problems as malaria and cancer which he viewed as demons. He organized prayer networks against both of these killers.

I must also mention that his editorship of the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement book truly spawned a world movement of the study of missions at the grassroots level, in local congregations and living rooms around the globe.

Last month’s Missions Frontiers, without an editorial by Dr. Winter, seemed limp in my hands. But, I am convinced that Christian missions is stronger because he was a leader among us for so many years.

I pause, and I hope you will too, to thank the Lord for this great servant. Thank you Lord for Ralph Winter, may his memory live on.

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