10. Jesus, God’s Missionary

In Your Bible Read This

Genesis 11, 1-9; 1 Thessalonians 1.1 to 2, 16

Here Is Your Memory Verse

I said,"Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will O God. " Hebrews 10.7; Psalm 40, 6-8.

Afterwards Talk About This

Describe your culture to each other, thinking about it according to the headings in section 2.

Something To Do Before Next Time

If you have been a believer for a while you may have forgotten what it is like to be outside God's family. Go and visit some bars, dance halls, markets, sports events. Listen to the people, look at their faces, learn something and see how many conversations you can have.

Written Diploma Work

Look at point 3 about the need to adapt. Write a 2 page essay saying what you think the five headings mean. How would you practically go about the process of being understood by strange new people.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

Hebrews 10, 5-7

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For El Salvador – Operation World page 207. 6,000,000 people, 80% poor after war, earthquake and suffering. Evangelicals grown from 2% to 20%

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

A True Story

A group of Westerners with a missions vision went to a far away land uninvited, and without consulting with the national church. Even local believers were suspicious, and the missionaries soon became isolated from fellowship. For years they kept their own language, culture, food and ways of working and worshipping. Even today anyone who comes to their church services feels an outsider after a while and moves on.

Sadly but not surprisingly, the work has not grown very much. The faithful missionaries blame the people for being hard hearted. But is that the whole truth?

Jesus, God's Missionary

When the Son of God responded to Father's call in Psalm 2 and came into the world, he crossed the ultimate culture barrier. He left the purity and perfection of his home in heaven to come to a world stricken with sin, sickness, selfishness, demons and poverty. How did he come?

He came to Jewish people as a Jewish baby boy with Jewish parents. Jesus chose to be born like most people -poor not rich, religious or powerful. He lived in the family of an ordinary working man and learned about the people. Like everyone else he knew heat, cold, hunger and Roman cruelty.

When it was God's time he ministered as a Jew to Jewish people in their own language, respecting Jewish culture and customs. He was so one with the people that when soldiers came to arrest him, they had to be shown which man was Jesus. Jesus raised and trained ordinary, local people. After his resurrection he left them to it, trusting these friends to do the work.

Can You See The Difference?

The people in the first story brought God's love but expected people to enter their culture. When Jesus brought God's love he fully entered into our culture to win us for heaven.

Is Culture A Barrier Or A Carrier?

What is culture? It's an integrated lifestyle of language, habits, customs and social organisation that gives people identity and distinction.

Culture is about behaviour, body language, relationships and greetings. It is how people talk, eat, dress, work, sing, play and do business.

You can see a culture in architecture, religious buildings and in the chosen systems of government, law and schools. You can see culture in the respect or lack of it. for officials and in attitudes towards privacy and time.

Is Culture Good Or Bad?

Genesis 11, 1-9 and all chapter 10 shows us that culture originates in God who scattered men into nations, and for centuries since then it has evolved. Today Jesus sends us to make disciples of every ethnos, or cultural group and on the last day people from every culture will be worshipping around God's throne.

Culture is a great carrier of the gospel, and not a barrier at all. Why? Because once the first locals receive Christ they can then take the good news to their people in ways they understand best. Like Jesus, the missionaries can then withdraw and support the locals.

Good Missionaries Always Adapt

Love for a people means a big change in order to relate to them. Watch out if you think you know better! The gospel message never changes, but the ways of presenting it must be adapted otherwise no one will understand why you are there and what you are trying to say.

In order to see conversions to Christ and change from serving false gods there has to be:

Rapport, between the people and you.

Communication of your message.

Understanding by the people, "Yes, this means the same to me as to you."

Transformation of the new believers life to confirm true conversion.

Partnership in the gospel.

Key Number One Is 'World View'

A person's world view is how a man or a woman views God, himself and eternity. Conversion and change has to happen here before culture slowly begins to conform to God's word. Before you speak to the people you are called to you must take time to understand how they see life. Their world view might be religious and involve God or gods, or it might be secular such as Marxist atheism. From this foundation come all their beliefs, practices and values, good or bad.

Paul Got It Right And So Can We!

In 1 Thess. 1 and 2 we read how a pagan people turned from idols to serve the living and true God. Paul says that the gospel came to them not simply with words, so let's learn 3 things that were also involved.

Lifestyle That Brought Rapport.

They saw at least 12 qualities in Paul's life, so they imitated him, even accepting suffering. 2.3-8; 10-12.

Communication And Understanding

They welcomed and understood the message enough to turn from idols, 1.9

Paul's Way Of Doing Ministry

He worked for a living just like them, 1.Thess 2.9

He ministered in Holy Spirit power, 1.Thess 1.5.

In the 1700's the Moravian missionaries even entered leper colonies to become lepers to win lepers and become slaves to win slaves. Today in the Philippines, missionaries choose to live amongst the poor to win them for Christ. In the Sahel missionary Keith Smith lives in a Fulani hut, has a Fulani cow, eats Fulani food, dresses in Fulani robes, speaks Fulani language and is just beginning to win the Fulani for Christ.

To Close Pray For The World's Most Unreached Peoples By Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.

China (4)

People Name Language Population
Miao, Qiandong (Hmu Southern) Miao, Qiandong Southern 500,000
Miao, Xiangxi (Ghao-Xong Eastern) Miao, Xiangxi Eastern 80,000
Nunu Bunu, Nunu 60,000
Palyu Palyu 10,000
Shan (Tai Yay, Sha) Shan 237,000

 

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