It is sometimes said that “everyone is a missionary” (or should be). The argument is that everyone in the church should view themselves involved in the Great Commission. It could be debated if everyone should be called a missionary (otherwise, what is a person who leaves home to take the gospel somewhere around the world). It is not debatable however that everyone should be involved in the Great Commission. So from that vantage point, everyone needs to think like a missionary.
When a missionary goes to another country he adapts to that culture. It is obvious he needs to speak a different language. The food is different. The clothing is different. They greet one another differently. A good missionary understands that their worldview is totally different. The traditions, customs, routines, music, and value systems are different.
A good missionary studies the culture and adapts to his new environment. We applaud that with a missionary. But we often don’t think about doing the same “back home.”
When the missionary steps off the plane he is immediately confronted with the fact that things are not the same. We don’t have that advantage because culture changes slowly around us and we don’t catalogue it. The reality is that American culture is dramatically different from 20 years ago. That means we might have to change some the ways we evangelize we do and the way explain the gospel.
We might think we are doing a good job of communicating… but the recipient may not understand us. They have a filter through which our words pass. The good evangelist understands the people he is talking with. Like a good missionary, he adjusts to them without compromising his personal standards.
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