A Word - April 2011

We pray that this newsletter would be a cause for reflection on Stateside church practice among our partners in mission as much as an update on activities here. There is a blessing to be found in the exchange between two contexts. Alan Hirsch writes of the Western church: 

Now, in the postmodern period, the whole deal 
has shifted; we are now back on genuinely missional
ground…To reach beyond significant cultural 
barriers we are going to have to adopt a missionary stance in relation to the culture. And partly that will mean adopting a sending approach rather than an attractional one, and partly that will mean that we have to adopt best practices in cross-cultural mission methodology. Whatever, it will necessitate a much more sophisticated approach than the ones generally in use at present and it will require that we readjust our paradigm of church to meet this challenge.
— Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2006), 62-63

hose who are genuinely different that ourselves are all around. Real cultural distance stares us all in the face, wherever we are in the world. For readers of this newsletter, it may just be the variety of American subcultures, or it may be an immigrant population. Either way, the time for marveling at the foreign mis- sionaries because they “went” is over, because it’s time for all of us to go, even if it’s just accross town or accross the street. The Sent One has sent us. The opportunity it great, and so is the blessing. Pick up your beautiful feet and go. Empty yourself and relate to the foreigner and stranger in your land, in humility, as a learner and a friend.