International Director of the WEA pays tribute to Dr. Ralph D. Winter

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On behalf of the World Evangelical Alliance and our entire our global family I want to extend our deepest sympathy to the Winter family, friends and colleagues in ministry.

I first became aware of Dr. Winter in the fall of 1974 during my missionary training in Chicago. I had the privilege of having Paul Little, the program director of the Lausanne 74 Congress as one of my trainers. Through Paul’s teaching the content of the historic congress, including the landmark speech given by Dr. Winter, were outlined to us.  However, as a young missionary I was not fully aware of the impact that Dr. Winter would make on the late 20th century mission movement.

In the years that followed I became more aware of Dr. Winter’s teaching through his provocative and mind-stretching writings.  I watched with amazement the vision, the purchase and ultimately the development of the US Center of the World Mission.  I was deeply inspired by his audacious faith and trust in God.

As a missionary, a mission mobilizer and a mission agency executive, Dr. Winter profoundly impacted my thinking about the task of world evangelism.

In my current capacity as the International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, I travel to many countries and meet with hundreds of leaders. It is very evident that Dr. Winter has influenced the thinking of much of the evangelical world.

(I am writing this report from Korea, which now has the second largest mission movement in the world. It is clearly obvious the global strategies of the Korean church have been strongly influenced by Dr. Winter’s insights.)

As I think about Dr Winter here are just a few of his influential ideas.

  • He put the “unreached” peoples on the map of world mission after Christians had pretty much given in to the idea that since there was a church in almost every country, they would naturally finish the task of world evangelization. He brought into focus the concept of “nations” as ethnically and socially distinct peoples.
  • His efforts to establish a national level centre for World Evangelization was really a quite a novel idea. And he pulled it off and got about 100,000 subscribers to Mission Frontiers.
  • He created the “Perspectives” course which without a doubt has created more momentum for world mission among “ordinary” Christians in its multiform expressions, than any other work or process.  

In recent years, my personal interactions with Dr. Winter revolved around the integral nature of the gospel and how it is needed to transform every arena of society.  I was deeply enriched by these conversations.


I will miss the prophetic voice of Dr. Winter. However, his impact for God’s Kingdom will continue through the thousands of people he has influenced throughout his lifetime.


It is my prayer that the Church around the world will continue to be inspired to see the gospel taken to all peoples and transform the nations. 


With deep appreciation,

Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe
International Director/CEO
World Evangelical Alliance


Thousands celebrate Dr. Ralph D. Winter’s Life, Impact – by By Michelle A. Vu, Christian Post USA: