Ralph Winter’s Contribution

Letter to Greg Parsons June 2008



There were two writings which impacted me. The first was a chart that he produced called “Seeing the Task Graphically.” It placed the need of the world in ways that a young Christian worker could understand and communicate. I not only had a way to express the burden of the Lord for the lost but I also had a good tool to use in my teaching. I used it a lot when I started my ministry in 1976 and we felt that God was calling YFC out of ministering to nominal Christians to going after the unreached.


The Second thing was his talk at Lausanne 76. The word “unreached” has haunted me since I first heard that emphasis. And it still does, driving me out of complacency to thinking about how we can go to those who are out of touch with a gospel witness. I believe Dr. Winter’s Lausanne address was responsible for popularising that theme. This talk also introduced me to E-1, E-2, E-3 evangelism which also helped put a handle on the task before us and helped us strategise and motivate people to involvement in the work of reaching the unreached.


I thank God for this maverick engineer whose brilliant mind was used by God to make him a prophet who helped rouse theologians from the slumber of their theoretical formulating to proactive involvement in the work of the kingdom. I smile at some of his way-out ideas and excuse him for them knowing that mavericks sometimes do get it wrong. And I thank God that what caught on were not those but his firm biblical challenges to the church.


I think America’s greatest contribution to the mission of the church in the second half of the 20th century was in directing the church to a pragmatic approach to mission. We must get the job done. It had its negative influences when sometimes pragmatism overruled the scriptures. Ralph Winter represents the best in this tradition. He helped rouse the evangelical church from its slumber into taking the Great Commission seriously.


Thanks for asking!!


Ajith Fernando


At 05:50 AM 6/29/2008, you wrote:

Hi Friends,

For various reasons (my study of Dr. Ralph Winter’s life is one of them), I’d like to get your input on the following:

WHICH (if any) of Dr. Winter’s writings has impacted you most and WHY.
If you can’t remember a title, just mention the content and the impact on you.


Greg H. Parsons General Director
USCWM 1605 E Elizabeth ST
Pasadena, CA 91104
Phone: 626.398.2328
Fax: 626.398.2240