How would you start a church with people who are culturally different from you?
I’m an old (63 last month), white, middle class American. How would I help start a church with goths or hispanics or Russians or bikers?
I can think of two ways.
One way would be to begin to study the cultural group that I’m praying for. What is their language, their dress, their values, etc.? This is sometimes called “exegeting their culture”. Then, I could attempt to adapt to that culture. Learn their language. Begin to dress and act like them. Sometimes God calls people to minister cross culturally like this.
The second way is what we see in Acts 10. Peter had been instructed by Jesus to “make disciples of all ethne (people groups)”. One of those “people groups” that was culturally distant from Peter, a Galilean Jew, was Roman soldiers. In this case, Peter didn’t begin to study Roman military culture and attempt to enlist in the army. He didn’t start wearing a helmet and carrying a sword.
Rather, the Lord of the harvest (think Peter was praying Lk 10:2b?) provides Cornelius, a Roman officer, who completely understood the culture of that people group, as the “man of peace”. No doubt, Cornelius became the spiritual father of a church birthed in his home. And, no doubt, many Roman soldiers came to Christ through him and became part of his house church.
So, how would you plant a biker church? You might study biker culture and begin wearing leathers and driving a big Harley. Or, you might beseech the Lord of the harvest to provide a “Cornelius” from the biker world. This is exactly what we see in Wade Adam’s video interview with Ronnie Hurta (Taylor, TX) below.
What are you learning about praying 10:2b for the various ethne in your city or region?