Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cultural Do's and Don'ts for Any Mission Field

The following list of Do's and Don'ts was written by Pastor Austin Gardner, pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Bro. Gardner served as a church planting missionary in Peru for over twenty years before God lead him back to the States to start Vision Baptist. God used him mightily in Peru, and to this day the ministry God allowed him to start is thriving, and Peruvians reached through the ministry have been sent all over the world as missionaries. Not only does Bro. Gardner pastor a growing church, but he invests his life into training men for the mission field.

As I read this list, I realized that this is something that I need to make sure I am implementing in my life. I will reference this list often as we serve in Cambodia, and hope that I will not fail in any of these areas. These practical bits of wisdom are applicable to any mission field in the world.

Cultural Dos and Don’ts
1. Do not treat their church any differently than you would a church in the United States.  Their church is just as good, and many times much more spiritual than a church in the US.
2. Don’t treat national pastors any differently than you would a pastor in the United States.
3. Do not eat or drink in front of them without offering them something.
4. Do not constantly criticize their country or talk about your country and all that you miss there or how it is better,  etc.
6. Develop a taste for their foods.  Eat with them.  Do not turn your nose up at their food.
7. Do not skip church or stay outside the building during church services, etc.  Get involved with the people in the service.
8. Look at things like they do.  They aren’t strange or new–you are.

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