Pegs and Holes

Square_peg_in_round_hole_2
By Josh Imagine a machine that is designed to carry large chunks of marble up out of mine shaft where it can be packaged and shipped off. Now imagine what people would say if the miners suddenly struck oil and the man in charge decided that they would use the exact same machine to elevate the oil to the surface. People would declare that the man is insane! They would say that his system was built for a different purpose and for a different environment. They would say that the oil they are dealing with is uniquely different than the marble that they have dealt with in the past. Therefore it is only logical that a new machine must be built; one that can conform to and handle this new material. In the same way, western missionaries are moving into countries and establishing church organizational structures that were built for an entirely different “substance”. It is ludicrous to expect a church system designed for a mega church in Seattle, filled with wealthy middle class Americans, to work for a nomadic tribe in Central Africa. The very “substance” that we are dealing with is different. All cultures are not the same, and the church or machine must therefore be modified or changed in order to handle different types of cultures. The machine is still doing the same thing, but simply by a different process and means. When you look at foreign missions from this perspective it seems obvious that the organization and way that the church functions must be very different from what is common in America; however, sadly, it is still very common for western missionaries to go into a country and try to conform that countries culture to his system of church organization. We might as well try to put a square peg in a round hole. With enough pressure the square will fit into the hole, but it will no longer be the square that God uniquely created to be a square. Westerners have fallen into the trap of thinking that God only makes round pegs and round holes. We think that God has made everyone like us, and that those that are not like us need to change. -JS

A Message for Western Christians

Chan

Here is another awesome quote from Francis Chan…


"It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace." 

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Temple Bar District – Dublin

This is where I was last night about mid-night.  A very raw area at that time of night. (Kevin Johnson and I) – Pub after Pub after Pub.  1000's of 20 year olds, pulsating music (both live and disco), seriously jammed packed pubs, a few prostitutes, a whole lot of clutching and the "I have have had way too much to drink projectile pools" every now and then.  I probably don't need to say that KJ and I were just a little out of place as the sole 50 year olds in the pack. 🙂 read more