John skillfully uses storytelling, humor and passion to reveal where the message of the gospel of Jesus meets the beauty of other world religions to dynamically bring about the reality of the Beloved Community here on the earth.
Take yourself to some remote part of this world with a culture vastly different from ours in every way and yet you will find congregations sitting in a building that looks remarkably similar to ours, singing songs that are familiar. If God is the God of the whole earth, then this is not His design but the work of western churches who don't know the value of other cultures.
Contextualization may be one of the most important issues in mission today. The Community of the King must learn how to discern culture in order to communicate the Good News of the Kingdom in a way that is clear and penetrating to the hearers.
The concern of contextualization is ancient—going back to the early church as it struggled to break loose from its Jewish cultural trappings and enter the Greco-Roman world of the Gentiles. Yet in many of today’s churches, and in the missionaries that they send out, there is a latent imperialism of cultural superiority. Rather than taking the pure seed of the Gospel and planting it in the soils of a very different culture, so that it might bloom and flourish in its own way, we have tried to make all the tongues, tribes and nations follow our patterns.
God has been preparing the peoples of the world to receive the Good News of the Kingdom. This seminar will introduce the ideas behind finding that preparation and drawing people to Jesus through their own culture. This is crucial for missionaries who are going to the other side of the world and critical for churches who are trying to stay relevant to the quickly changing terrain of our own home soil.
Often fear keeps us from asking deep questions, and all too often missionaries and the western churches that guide them revert to the default of bulldozing all we do not understand and replacing it with our own “superior” cultural model of Christianity. In this seminar, John draws from the depths of his own experience and study and that of missionaries all over the world to show the beauty of culture, how to know what should be kept and what needs to be discarded. This is a must class for all who are serious about seeing the Kingdom of God spread to every corner of the planet in our generation.
This seminar can be formatted as a three hour or four hour teaching time.