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Stage 2: Connecting

Learn language and adapt to culture

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth…No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known (John 1:14, 18). 

  • Outcome: Mutual friendships with local people
  • Key Person: Sent Worker
  • How to Give: Give toward micro-projects (under ~$100) for community development and friendship building events
  • How to Pray: Pray for spiritual insights and breakthroughs, language learning and cultural adaptation, and for favor for our workers
  • How to Go: Go serve the community in practical ways, like teaching English, or have the missionaries recruit local translators so you can engage in a wide variety of service activities
  • How to Partner: Partner by befriending immigrants from that nation in your neighborhoods, inviting them into the micro-projects and your own friendship-building events.

Description: 

When the first worker arrives in a people group, the primary job is building relationships. They learn the language and culture. They pray and discern the spiritual climate. They find out the history and see where God has been at work. They search for other Christian activity in the area. This stage is complete when they have friendships in which the worker and the local people mutually enjoy each other. Workers on site become the best source of defining how to mobilize.


Biblical Foundation:

Jesus’ incarnation is the primary model for the church’s participation in God’s mission. When Jesus “emptied himself…being born in human likeness” (Phil. 2:7), he fully identified with human weakness and suffering—except that he was without sin (Heb. 4:15). The purpose of the incarnation was to reveal who God is through the person of Jesus—Immanuel, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). Jesus lived completely embedded within first century Jewish culture, yet he also embodied both grace and truth, which confronted the pressure to conform to dominant cultural values and attitudes. The dynamic tension between grace and truth calls for both discernment and discrimination regarding which cultural expressions and practices are embraced. Sharing the good news across cultures requires a critical contextualization of the gospel, where it is presented in forms understood by people without making it captive to a particular context.4

Jesus demonstrated the importance of building relationships motivated by love and compassion for others. When Jesus ate with “sinners and tax collectors” he broke down barriers that divided people and welcomed those who were marginalized to join him (Luke 15:1-2). The practice of hospitality is a powerful bridge builder into the lives of strangers (Rom. 12:13). Love for one’s neighbor (Mark 12:31) motivates us not to insist on our own way (1 Cor. 13:5) but rather respond in humility by regarding others as better than ourselves and looking to the interests of others (Phil. 2:3-4). Paul demonstrates a profound love for his neighbor through his willingness to make himself a slave to others by becoming all things to all people (1 Cor. 9:19-23). 

On one hand, when Jesus sends out his disciples, he instructs them to find a person of peace who would be open to inviting them into his or her home (Luke 10:6). On the other hand, Paul instructs believers to be people of peace, who can respond with wisdom and grace to those who might be curious about their faith (Rom. 12:18; Col. 4:5-6). Nevertheless, Paul recognizes that it is ultimately God who opens doors and enables people to respond positively to the good news of Jesus (Col. 4:3; 2 Cor. 2:12, 14). If it is God who opens doors, then it is his Spirit who leads believers to those who are seeking after God, who wants to reveal himself to them (Acts 16:6-10). 

<<Mission Strategy Map          Stage 3: Witnessing>>

____________________
4 Paul G. Hiebert, “Changing Views,” in The Gospel in Human Contexts: Anthropological Explorations for Contemporary Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009). See also A. Scott Moreau, Contextualization in World Missions: Mapping and Assessing Evangelical Models (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012).

Stage 2: Connecting

Learn language and adapt to culture

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth…No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known (John 1:14, 18). 

  • Outcome: Mutual friendships with local people
  • Key Person: Sent Worker
  • How to Give: Give toward micro-projects (under ~$100) for community development and friendship building events
  • How to Pray: Pray for spiritual insights and breakthroughs, language learning and cultural adaptation, and for favor for our workers
  • How to Go: Go serve the community in practical ways, like teaching English, or have the missionaries recruit local translators so you can engage in a wide variety of service activities
  • How to Partner: Partner by befriending immigrants from that nation in your neighborhoods, inviting them into the micro-projects and your own friendship-building events.

Description: 

When the first worker arrives in a people group, the primary job is building relationships. They learn the language and culture. They pray and discern the spiritual climate. They find out the history and see where God has been at work. They search for other Christian activity in the area. This stage is complete when they have friendships in which the worker and the local people mutually enjoy each other. Workers on site become the best source of defining how to mobilize.


Biblical Foundation:

Jesus’ incarnation is the primary model for the church’s participation in God’s mission. When Jesus “emptied himself…being born in human likeness” (Phil. 2:7), he fully identified with human weakness and suffering—except that he was without sin (Heb. 4:15). The purpose of the incarnation was to reveal who God is through the person of Jesus—Immanuel, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). Jesus lived completely embedded within first century Jewish culture, yet he also embodied both grace and truth, which confronted the pressure to conform to dominant cultural values and attitudes. The dynamic tension between grace and truth calls for both discernment and discrimination regarding which cultural expressions and practices are embraced. Sharing the good news across cultures requires a critical contextualization of the gospel, where it is presented in forms understood by people without making it captive to a particular context.4

Jesus demonstrated the importance of building relationships motivated by love and compassion for others. When Jesus ate with “sinners and tax collectors” he broke down barriers that divided people and welcomed those who were marginalized to join him (Luke 15:1-2). The practice of hospitality is a powerful bridge builder into the lives of strangers (Rom. 12:13). Love for one’s neighbor (Mark 12:31) motivates us not to insist on our own way (1 Cor. 13:5) but rather respond in humility by regarding others as better than ourselves and looking to the interests of others (Phil. 2:3-4). Paul demonstrates a profound love for his neighbor through his willingness to make himself a slave to others by becoming all things to all people (1 Cor. 9:19-23). 

On one hand, when Jesus sends out his disciples, he instructs them to find a person of peace who would be open to inviting them into his or her home (Luke 10:6). On the other hand, Paul instructs believers to be people of peace, who can respond with wisdom and grace to those who might be curious about their faith (Rom. 12:18; Col. 4:5-6). Nevertheless, Paul recognizes that it is ultimately God who opens doors and enables people to respond positively to the good news of Jesus (Col. 4:3; 2 Cor. 2:12, 14). If it is God who opens doors, then it is his Spirit who leads believers to those who are seeking after God, who wants to reveal himself to them (Acts 16:6-10). 

<<Mission Strategy Map          Stage 3: Witnessing>>

____________________
4 Paul G. Hiebert, “Changing Views,” in The Gospel in Human Contexts: Anthropological Explorations for Contemporary Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009). See also A. Scott Moreau, Contextualization in World Missions: Mapping and Assessing Evangelical Models (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012).