W. Austin Gardner
Need for a deep knowledge of the people
Today the young churches planted by the early missionaries are speaking out, calling us to be more aware of human cultures and their differences, and reminding us that God is not a tribal God, but the God of the world; that the gospel is for everyone; and that the church is one body that breaks down the walls of ethnicity, class, and nationalism that divide humans into warring camps. At the same time, there has been a growing awareness in the social sciences, particularly in anthropology, of the need to understand people in their cultural settings. Out of this has come the growing realization that missionaries today need not only a solid understanding of the Scriptures, but also a deep knowledge of the people they serve.
Paul Hiebert, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries, n.d.