Christians can learn about ministry innovation for the future from the examples of missionaries. Missionaries take the Gospel message to another culture, remove the American aspects, and let the Gospel grow in a different cultural context. Are you changing the cultural wrapping or are you changing the message itself? That is the key point in missionary work and in ministry innovation.
Why this matters for church leaders:
Church leaders are wary of letting the culture redefine the Gospel, but the culture and tools we use to share the Gospel need to change over time.
- Ministry with no expectations: Missionaries provide an excellent opportunity to rethink ways to share the Gospel without our cultural expectations getting in the way.
- What does conversion look like? It’s easier to minister to people who look like us, but what does it look like to reach out to people who are different and need to worship God without becoming exactly like us or adopting our own values?
- When does innovating go too far? It could be argued that some missionaries accommodate too much to other cultures sometimes. When do we know we’ve gone too far?
Does your own congregation tend to want more innovation or more preservation in its ministry approach? How can the example of missionaries help?
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