Contemporary vs. Relevant, Part I

RobDevotions

TWO THINGS FIRST

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Well get to the post for today in a moment, right now, this and this is more relevant (sorry, couldn’t resist)…

Don’t forget that this is the weekend that THANK . FULL comes to life! So remember to bring your bag (or bags) of non-perishable items to Southbrook Church during the service you attend and leave it in the area designated. Don’t just leave it wherever because we are expecting a couple thousand of these things! If you are not sure what to bring, call the church, or read the label on the bag you picked up at SCC. If all else fails, zoom in on this picture and read it there!

2007-2d0325sbbaptism108-2d2dvi-2dsmall3-smallAnd, also, we are celebrating more Christ followers as they profess their love for Jesus through baptism. Make sure you come out and support them immediately after the 11:30 service at the heated pool.

Now, on with today’s post.

I know, I know.

I’ve touched on this before, but not much has changed, so I’ll try being a voice crying out in the wilderness on this subject, one more time (or how ever many times I feel like it ).

I thought of the many missionaries we’ve sent out in the short history of our church — long term, short term — local, international. You name it, we’ve done it. But here’s an approach we haven’t tried. I’m going to describe it to you because it is extremely popular in the US, even though its effectiveness still hovers around zero.

Go figure.

And keep in mind that this is particularly baffling in light of the fact that the rest of the world seems to have discovered the uselessness of this approach and pretty much discarded it all together.

Anyway, here it is.

Let me describe what it would look like from an international missions angle.

Let’s say Joe and Suzi Smith want to go to France to be “missionaries.”

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So far so good, right?

They begin seminary training, raising support, studying church history and learning how to live on a budget.

Still with me?

Good.

Next, they set a departure date, find a place to live in Paris, France and immediately hit the streets telling all the French people about Jesus…

IN ENGLISH!

…with a Southern accent!

…wearing T-Shirts that say things like, “Honk if you love Texas!”

…asking where the nearest McDonald’s is because they don’t really like French food or trying new things.

…They find a local school (Christian and English speaking) for their sweet little cherubs…

…They often talk aloud of their observations of how rude they think the French are…

This goes on for 12 months.

And, at the end of the first year cannot (for the life of them) figure out why, not only has no one shown ANY interest in Jesus Christ, but also, no one seems to have the least bit of interest in THEM!

Sound crazy?

Sure it does. And you hardly ever hear of this because most mission agencies understand the importance of completely immersing their candidates in the culture of the country they wish to reach in order to have even a shred of hope at reaching those people.

Last time I checked, you weren’t exactly a shoe-in simply because you are American. Just the opposite. Thus the importance of understanding foreign cultures BEFORE you attempt to engage them with the most important message in the history of the world!

Yep, that’s a bit of a no-brainer.

Then why is it that a majority of the “church” in America totally disregards this same logic when trying to reach people right here at home?!

Good question.

We’ll take a close look at it in my next post.