Thursday, January 23, 2014

Top Ten Lessons from taking the Gospel Cross-Culturally

Here in Seattle, my friend Keith is compiling a list of lessons learned from people who have taken the gospel to a different culture or people group. Here is what he asked:

As I looked around at all the people at our last Streams gathering on Whidbey Island, I couldn't help but notice the wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that was in the room, especially regarding those with cross-cultural history.  I am so thankful to be a part of this region!  Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with the wise grows wise," and I have no doubt that I've grown these past couple of years just by being in the same room with many of you month after month.

With that in mind, I'd like to keep learning from you.  I'm convinced one of the biggest keys to fruitfulness in the Pacific Northwest (and the U.S.) is that we approach our cities, campuses, and neighborhoods like missionaries.  We need to pray, learn culture, and be wise (Colossians 4:2-6).  We need to implement principles that will help all sorts of people know God and trust Him.

With that said, would you take 10-15 to minutes to write down and send me some of your cross-cultural lessons?  This could include your top 10-20 lessons from overseas or any other unfamiliar people group/place (even in the U.S.)?  

Perhaps I'll ask Keith for a copy of the whole list when he is finished compiling it. For now, here is my top ten practical lessons that Jesus taught us when we served in Latvia and Lithuania:

1. Spiritual Warfare is real and apart from Christ, we are vulnerable
2. Prayer is foundational and essential to the work of God
3. Sometimes our experience will exceed our theology.
4. Be led by the Holy Spirit
5. Build deeply into the lives of a few
6. Cross cultural missionaries simply take the gospel to a culture - to a few bridge builders. Those bridge builders take the gospel into their culture.
7. Americans are very wealthy and don’t even know it
8. God will work powerfully through our weaknesses
9. We thought God wanted to do a great thing through us, but his priority was to do a great work in us
10. No matter how things go, Christ is always enough

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