I’m doing a few series kind of interacting with and starting discussions about themes in some books on church planting. This series comes out of “Planting Missional Churches” by Ed Stetzer.
Okay, Stetzer gives a list from a book I hadn’t heard about (“Reconnecting God’s Story to Ministry: Cross Cultural Storytelling at Home and Abroad”) (I would like to point out that the title of my book has 12 words, which is ridiculously long, but so does this one!!) by two authors I hadn’t heard of (Tom Steffan and David Hesselgrave) but after reading this list I want to know more. Because this list is fantastic. They are questions to be used when entering every culture:
- What is the worldview of the target audience?
- What is the culture’s decision-making pattern?
- What does it cost a person in this culture to become a Christian?
- What redemptive analogy is best for this culture?
- How does this culture view Christianity?
- What does this culture understand about the basic components of the gospel story?
- Is this culture based on shame or guilt?
- How will this culture understand Christian rituals?
- What is the best delivery system for exposing the people of this culture to the gospel?
Okay, seriously, that’s a fantastic list. It may seem obvious to ask those questions, but have we asked those questions? Have you asked those questions about the culture God has put you in and the people you are trying to reach?
Some of you might think, “Well, but those are questions for missionaries. Like people who go into a foreign culture.” If so, no offense, but it’s time to wake up and smell yourself. (Okay, that did come out a bit offensive. Whoops.) But seriously, in today’s America … you are a missionary, and as far as you and the gospel are concerned, you are in a foreign culture.
So, what are your answers for those questions? Maybe sit down with your team and have a long meeting over some pizza and talk through each one. Or, if you are team-less, take some time and answer those questions in the comment section on this post. I’d be interested to read what you’re thinking…
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