CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: REACHING YOUR OWN OIKOS VS CROSS-CULTURAL WORK

If I could rewind almost 20 years of ministry, I would change one significant thing. I thought it was my job to recruit as many church people (usually white Americans) as I could to reach the people groups I was trying to reach. Not only was it mostly ineffective as far as church planting because of the cross-cultural barriers, but I unintentionally poured into the idea that evangelism meant going to people you do not know. Of course there are times for this, but instead of recruiting people to go to strangers, I wish that I would have been equipping them to reach the people they already have relationships with. Basically be an “Insider” yourself. It is much easier to reach people and start Discovery Groups with people you already know. This is where you are going to be most effective. If I would have taught this, I believe I would have seen amazing things take place. Unfortunately, most trainings I have been to are filled with people not wanting to reach their own people groups, but instead feel the need to go to some other people group. I understand this desire because this was me. It doesn’t seem as exciting to reach our families, our friends, and our communities. It is much more exciting to go to the unreached, but we need to realize there are people all around us everyday who need to be reached and we are going to be much more effective there than somewhere else. If we have a desire to reach another people group, the best way to do that is to equip people from inside that community to do it. The answer is we need strategies for both, but at the same time realizing that we can equip people more capable than us who will do it better.

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