This is what I am saying today. What is normal for missionaries in any culture should be normative for us in reaching our culture. Rather than be with the lost, we distance ourselves from them. Rather than live the culture, we create a counter-culture in the church and we live in our little bubble. The result is that few Christians can point to anyone that they have influenced toward gospel faith in the last 5 years.
Too often we think the starting point for outreach is us, here, the church. I know because this feels safe to me too. But Paul doesn’t say that he waited for the Jews to become like him so he could reach them, he became like them to reach them. Not in moral categories, but in relational ones. Who does the flexing in evangelism? It can only be us. Is your neighbor ever going to come over and say, Hey, I see you’re interested in Christianity so for the sake of a relationship with you, I’ll be interested in Christianity too!
Never happen. But if your neighbor is interested in fishing, get interested in fishing. If she is into Girl Scouts, buy cookies and talk Girl Scouts. If our community is discussing crime, flooding, school drop-out rates, High School football, or water pollution in Lake MI, let’s be a part of the conversation. This is our mission field. Any decent missionary loves the people, lives the culture, speaks the language and reaches the people. We must do the same and become all things to all people so that by all means we might save some.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2009 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.