For some reason I was surprised, though, how many of the local Christian leaders we met in our host city seemed to think that bringing in more Americans was a bad idea. They didn’t like the idea of starting new churches, either. (What was wrong with the churches already there?)
On our return to the States a seasoned mission leader exhorted us with the following words. I've continued to chew on them ever since.
When do you press ahead, and when do you listen to those who tell you your idea is "foolhardy"?“That the existing Christians are wary, think church-planting with Muslims is foolhardy, especially by foreigners, is NORMAL. That is how it is everywhere among congregations of non-Muslim background people. "Peace at any price" even if it means letting the Muslims go into a Christless eternity!
“Are Americans ideal for church-planting there? Of course not. But neither is any other nationality. Every nationality is a trade-off, [with] pluses and minuses -- including the [majority population] who have been the enemy of Muslims for centuries! We still do not know of anyone seeking to birth a church among the ____________ and extremely few ________ are going to be drawn into the existing churches. Therefore, I would appeal to you to ‘go for it.’”
See also: Missionary Not Welcome (Ernest Goodman)