Summary: what we need to know to be effective at sharing the gospel witht he people God puts in our lives
Packing for a Missions Trip
Across the Street or Around the World
Know the Culture
Know How to Communicate
Thank you Jeanie.
This month we have been focusing on missions.
When we think of missions, often we think of overseas or foreign missions.
But for most of us, we will never be called to foreign missions.
Though each one of us is called to be missionaries where God has placed us in our neighborhoods and workplaces.
But even there we can encounter foreign cultures.
Have you ever experienced someone from a different culture with a different primary language trying to communicate with you?
Many of you know that before I was in pastoral ministry I was a broker at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, but you may not know that my employer was a large Japanese bank.
We were a smaller subsidiary of the bank with about 20 employees.
The leadership was made up of Japanese expatriates. They would come over from Japan for 3 or 4 years and work here before going back.
They would often learn English before coming over here.
Well anyway, I had begun working at DKB when I was about 26 years old and I worked there for almost 10 years.
Well being a small office, whenever it was someone’s birthday, the company would buy lunch.
They would take pictures and we would have lunch. No big deal.
Well one time we had a newer President who came over from Japan.
We were having a birthday lunch for someone in the office. I was usually one of the first ones up there since the staff who worked on the trading floor could not all be gone at the same time.
Well, I was up in our conference room and one of the Japanese American ladies was unpacking the lunch and our president came in and he had seen a picture of me from when I first started at the company.
If we have any Asian or Japanese visitors this morning, please forgive my bad accent and I mean no disrespect, but he said
“Ah Scott, I saw pictures of you from before. You different now. You fat.”
The Japanese American woman unpacking all the food, her draw drops to the table and she starts speaking Japanese to our president at a speed that I have rarely heard.
At this point, I can barely contain the laughter because thankfully, I am not all that sensitive and I do understand that he is just trying to relate how I have gone from someone who was kind of scrawny to someone who has added a little meat to his bones, at least that is what I choose to think.
Well, after the Japanese American lady spoke with him, he apologized for how his words came out.
But it just goes to show you that understanding and trying to relate different words in context can sometimes cause problems in our communication within different cultures.
And, believe it or not, you don’t need to be from another country to be of a different culture. In fact, it is possible that those different cultures can live right across the street.
As we finish up today talking about what to pack for a missions trip across the street or around the world, I want you to turn again with me to Acts 17 as we continue to look at Paul’s time in Athens (p. 785).
As we began last week talking about what we need to have packed with us on a missions trip across the street of around the world so that we are always ready to give a reason for the hope we have within us, we saw that the first think we needed to have with us was a knowledge of Christianity, and we talked about the essentials of the gospel.
We need to know what the gospel is and be ready to unpack that for people as the opportunity presents itself, so they might be able to receive Jesus as their Savior.
I just want to quickly review the essentials that we see that Paul was preaching in Athens…the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.
First, people must believe they are sinners separated from God or they won’t think they need a Savior.
Second that must believe that Jesus is the Christ, God in the flesh.
Jesus is not just some good person, or a man who actually lived but is not God. He is God in the flesh.
Third, you must believe that Jesus died for your sins.
Fourth, You must believe that He resurrected from the dead.
Without the resurrection, there is no hope.
Jesus resurrection proved