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God is Glorified When People See the Master and not the Minister

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In cross-cultural ministry, one must come out of their comfort area and seek to become relevant in the communities they are serving. Duane Elmer wrote “calling ourselves or believing ourselves to be servants, does not mean we will be perceived as servants by others.” In all the cross-cultural ministries, understanding the idea that discipleing is at the core of missions, is the process of making life long relationships, and serves as the foundation for all ministries under Christ command, however, for all of us, the core of discipleship is how Christ did not come to lead as a leader, but came to serve the nations as a servant leader.

“If one of you wants to become great, then he must serve you like a servant. If one of you wants to become the most important, then he must serve all of you like a slave. In the same way, the Son of Man did not come forother people to serve him. But the Son of Man came to serve other people.” (Matthew 10:43-45)

We need to understand that in cross cultural situations we must have discipline and perseverance to transact in these cross-cultural situations, because we are only accustomed to practices in most situations from our own culture. We must always remember that “God is glorified when people see the Master and not the minister.”

The biblical and theological basis for cross-cultural ministry comes from the only mandate Christ commanded us “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching these disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” (Matthew 28:19). The Son of God entered the human culture as an example of and to us on how we should enter other cultures. We serve by entering into a relationship of love and mutual commitment, “so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thess. 2:8). However, if just reaching these people meant establishing churches everywhere in the world, we would have been finished already, but rather Christ sent us to “reach, make Disciples, baptize, and teach (Panta Ta Ethne) ethnolinguistic groups of the world.”

The theological foundation of cross cultural ministry is the idea or the understanding of “Missio Dei.” We are called to proclaim the message of the gospel, not as a personal mission but as a mission of God, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). God’s mission is to reach the world, to find all the lost sheep, and usher them into the understanding that Christ reconciled the world to himself.

by Isaac Murton, campus pastor. (Published in The Filmstrip, November 2016 edition.)