Cross-cultural engagement is never an easy task, especially when it comes to evangelizing. The unfamiliarity of the societal norms of different cultures often causes us to want to force our own worldviews onto those we are engaging with. Such a mindset may have shaped Western Society as it now stands, but perhaps there is another, more effective way to view cross-cultural dynamics, even those that exist within our own society.
Christians have long stigmatized cursing. Often times we are so quick to dismiss what a person has to say because they employ language indicative of the ‘world’. But what if the problem isn’t as black and white as it is often made out to be. Perhaps there is more to language than just the words we do or do not speak. Perhaps there is something else that determines whether or not what we say honors God.
Since antiquity, human beings have been entertained by and seemingly infatuated with violence. For the Ancient Greeks and Romans this hunger would have been satiated by gladiator fights and tragic plays. Today, these forms of entertainment have been replaced by professional sports and violent films. While the modern equivalents are not perfect translations of these ancient activities, the parallels between them cannot be denied. How then should Christians respond to different representations of violence in all forms of entertainment? What duty do we have as Christ-followers in response to violent entertainment?
Guidance, knowledge, and wisdom as ongoing processes are critical elements within the dynamics of mentoring and discipling. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus models a deeply personal style of leadership by investing into the lives of his disciples through empowerment and wise counsel. Similarly, how is the Church today to follow and continue this practice of mentoring and discipleship?
Let’s face it. Social media is the language of our generation. Within the last decade, technological advancements have exploded to provide us all with the capacity to present the highlights of our lives, and access to the highlights of other people’s lives. The selective information we take in deeply affects the way we perceive not only ourselves and other people, but especially our perceptions of ministry. How can we maintain a healthy understanding of ministry in light of its glorified presentation in social media today?
Nearly every week children in our churches are reminded that they are not a part of “big” church. Children are more than just little people to be taught about Jesus, but are valuable ministers in the Kingdom of Heaven. How do we as the church stop seeing children as a hinderance to ministry and more a part of the ministry?
Everything else but work seems to capture my attention right now and I find myself going to a movie with a group of friends at the end of the week, guilt eating me alive as I review the amount of work that I’ve completed in the last several days. Now more than ever it feels as though my motivation is in the negative percentile. It is in these times that we learn more fully how God wants us to have a balanced life. How can we implement a godly balanced life?
If you have before or plan to venture out on a short term mission trip, you know the rush of emotion and excitement, and you also know the nervousness and anticipation. For many of us veteran “short-termers”, we would probably agree that the excitement and fear involved in going on or leading a short-term trip never really goes away. Every trip is full of the unknown, sometimes good and sometimes scary, but always worth it in the end. Here are a few things that I believe will make your short-term trip more than worth it.