Cross Cultural Missions is the bane and spiral connector of the scripture from Genesis to Revelation. For God is not colour blind but colourful. He created us with diverse abilities that make us need one another; no one is self-sufficient. God gave us gospel to reach the reached and the unreached without discrimination but with love and wisdom.
· God chose for Himself a nation of Israel, as a treasure to be priests to other nations (Exodus 19:3-6).
· Jesus gave us the mandate to go to the world of nations (Matthew 24:4; 28:19-20).
· At the opening of early church, the command was given again with direction (Acts 1:8).
· God manifested to the world, His intention to win every tribe, language and culture back to Himself as the disciples spoke in their language (Acts 2:5:21) to fulfill the prophecy of end time.
Paul was making some assertions on the peculiarity of Cross Cultural Missions in context of simplicity and application. He said, “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you." (1 Cor. 9:20).
Definition of Cross Cultural Missions
1. Cross Cultural Missions is an apostleship call.
2. Cross Cultural Missions also means taking gospel of Christ from one tribe, language, ethnic, culture, community, nation across a border of another.
3. Cross cultural missions can be geographical (travelling to another land) or residential (living among different tribe in a locality).
4. Cross Cultural Missions involves a deliberate and conscious effort to break loosed barriers placed by men – tradition, culture, language, norms, ethnicity, remoteness, exposure – with sacrificial and humble approach of coming low to the level of obscure people in order to win them for Christ over a period of time. It is tasking, humiliating, risky and enduring. Only the called endures the scourge of fierce culture, unfriendliness, poverty, harsh climatic differences and tense isolation from social amenities, just for the sake of the Gospel.
Purpose of Cross Cultural Missions
1. God created us with different opportunities, strengths, abilities, influences and knowledge purposely to reach, affect and sustain other nations far away from the privilege.
2. Cross Cultural Missions is the flow of world missions. From Near East to Rome, Europe, America and now in Africa.
3. Cross Cultural Missions is the secret of world civilization and development. Missions open up a hidden nations to discover their worth and resources for development. Cross Cultural Missions goes with enlightenment and education.
4. Cross Cultural Missions is the connecting link of God’s power to other nations. We are given the shoe of readiness of the Gospel as armour. God touches and rescues lives through Cross Cultural Missions.
Practicing Cross Cultural Missions
· Apostleship: An itinerant missionary with a message from God to a particular people in a particular location per time.
· Full-time Missionary: A person who has accepted God’s call to leave his/her comfort zone across the border to live, learn and influence a community for a long time with the gospel of Christ.
· Tentmaker (Bi-vocational Missionary): A person who has passion for missions among some people where he/she works to sustain living. Such person uses carrier as a tool to enter a community with a purpose of financing missions with his/her work and winning souls to Christ.
· Social Ministry Missionary: This person has passion for missions as he/she rises to the pressing needs of a group of people (missionaries, converts, children, aged, prostitute, uneducated, women, leaders, youths, etc.) with a physical relief aid to solve their physiological needs with the purpose of reaching and winning them to Christ. It can be done through medical, educational, materials, entrepreneurship or communal project outreach.
· Modern Media Missionary: a person who uses every modern medium of technology to defeat barriers of entering restricted and free access nations with Gospel of Christ through internet opportunities, social network, technological devices, visuals and audio clips, and graphical resources.
· Missionary opportunities can be practiced within a local community, state (domestic) and across national or continental borders (international). A Yoruba man in France may minister to fellow Yoruba in the land alone. This is an international mission that is not cross cultural.
Preparation for Cross Cultural Missions
1. Ready to learn new ideology, culture, norms, values, language, etc.
2. Ready to adjust what you know, have and survive on to what is obtainable in the environment. For example: perception about primitive and rural dweller, eating and dressing culture, climatic preference, etc.
3. Analyze and evaluate yourself based on SWOT to fit in to the environment.
4. Endeavour to learn the language of the people.
5. Do not shift ground on your conviction of faith, despite your respect for their culture. Christ is above culture.
6. Design a way to educate them in what you know. It is the extension of your knowledge, skill and ability that can develop their capacity for further development without your physical presence.
7. Develop friendship atmosphere.
8. Always conduct continuous spiritual survey quietly and wisely.
9. Be fast in interpreting anything with the sensitivity of Holy Spirit and be systematic in response as God leads you. Everything is NOT always normal.
10. Share your discovery with a Christian friend around you.
11. Use every interaction as an opportunity to share simple gospel – Jesus loves you.
What to do on the field
· Have a target – e.g. wanting to win ten or more souls (children, youth, uneducated, aged, women, teen, etc.) to Christ before the end of the year. Be specific.
· Pray for your target – depend on God for wisdom, pace, and opportunity.
· Develop interest in your target – build passion around the target. Be creative in what to do.
· Systematically hit the target – do not waste opportunity. Say or do what you have developed.
· Evaluate your target based on the measure you choose to use.
Quote from Patrick Johnstone
“Scripture, theology, the Church and even Christian would not exist without Mission. Therefore, a theology without Mission is not a Biblical theology, a Church without Mission is no longer truly the Church, and a Christian without Mission is no true disciple. For a Christian mission is not an optional extra for the fanatical few or for the specially anointed; it is a fundamental definitive of who we are in Christ.”
Prepared by Allen Olatunde (www.africaglow.org)