Cross culture

Is God calling you to serve cross-culturally?

How can we fulfil the great commission... sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Here are some tips from Danielle Face.

Understand the need
The harvest is plentiful, and the workers are few (Matthew 9:35-38). Missions begins at home and then overseas.

There isn’t a crazy transformation on the plane to serving overseas that makes someone a missionary.

Serving in cross-cultural missions is an extension of the ministry that we are all called to, no matter where we are.

Over 40 per cent of the world are unreached with minimal Christian influence. There could even be unreached people living in your neighbourhood.

Yet there is also a great need for people to share the gospel overseas, where there is no sustainable movement towards Christ.

Understanding the bigger picture of what’s happening in the world of missions can help us respond.

Find out where Elim Missions is serving worldwide: elim.org.uk/missions

How is your church engaging unreached people? Learn about unreached people at: joshuaproject.net

Learn to share the gospel
We need to be ready to give an answer for our faith (1 Peter 3:15).

Yet so often when we are presented with an opportunity to share what we believe, we feel lost for words.

So, practise. Write down how you could explain the gospel, including all the key fundamentals.

Bill Hull has a great way of explaining what we believe in his book ‘The Discipleship Gospel’, and then describes what we need to do in response.

Find a few friends you can practise with, and then create opportunities to share your faith with others. Find free online Elim Missions and Reach evangelism training: www.elimonline.training.

Cross-cultural humility
Christ always demonstrated humility (Philippians 2), and humility is crucial to sharing the gospel cross-culturally.

We need to serve others as learners, by listening.

Create opportunities for dialogue and don’t be afraid when people ask difficult questions. We are all learning, and discipleship is a journey of faith.

Our ministry must also be holistic: proclaiming what we believe and serving practically as the hands and feet of Jesus.

What could it look like in your context to serve those around you?

Relational ministry
We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We are designed to do ministry in relationship with each other.

Everyone is meant to participate and model Christ for those around us.

We must never assume that someone else will share the good news when we are all called to fulfil the great commission.

Who can you invite into your discipleship journey? Neighbours, friends, family?

What are your strengths and giftings?

How has God equipped you to serve others?

Realistic expectations
Discipleship takes time.

The choice to believe in Christ may happen in a single moment, but the ongoing work of becoming like Christ takes time.

We need to have realistic expectations of our own ministry and the ministry of those who are moving overseas.

Overseas ministry needs additional time to learn the language, the cultural nuances and to build relationships.

We have the responsibility to support those who are sharing the gospel cross-culturally in a country that is not their own.

Missionary newsletters may not be immediately filled with instant results and stories of mass salvations, but we need to support our missionaries as they acclimatise, learn and serve.

We must also sacrifice our desire for instant gratification to see the immediate outcome of our financial giving because sustainable ministry and discipleship takes time.

We can do that through prayer, finances and friendship.

Could you:
• Encourage a missionary today?
• Send an encouraging message on social media?
• Join our weekly prayer for the nations on zoom?
• Subscribe to our weekly newsletter Prayerline?
• Arrange a fundraiser to support Elim International Missions?

Next steps
Is God is calling you to serve cross-culturally?

If you would like to explore whether that could be in another country, you could try our online Introduction to Mission Course or apply for the Missionary Academy.

Danielle Face works in the Missions office at the Elim International Centre in Malvern. You can get in touch at missions@elim.org.uk

First published in the July 2022 issue of Direction, Elim’s monthly magazine. Subscribe now to get Direction delivered to your home.

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