Thursday, January 31, 2008

Everyone Needs to be Cross-cultural

In my short years of life I experience cross-cultural things all the time. I am a Navajo from the Navajo Nation so I am a minority in the United States. Yet as one fellow sojourner in ministry, Brad Griffin, the Assistant Director of the Center for Youth and Family Ministry puts it, "cross-cultural is not an option any longer." In fact, Brad says

"In the past, cross-cultural communication was primarily relegated to the realm of interacting with people outside of your own country. But now, given an increasingly multicultural United States and the globalization of nearly every technology, industry and service—not to mention ministry—our ability to bridge language and other divides has become critically important. So important, in fact, that some argue that youth workers must develop new skills for encountering the multicultural realities of ministry today."

Brad summarizes Cultural Intelligence in a terse manner citing David Livermore and his passion for teaching the emerging generation about leading in a multi-cultural world in a contextual and relevant way. The concepts intrigued me so I checked out the intersectcommunity. I saw that the next cohort/gathering is for the New England region so I will need to wait for a closer venue. But I am interested in finding out more.

Important Issues we face

I read from the Pastor's Weekly Briefing Jan 25, 2008 provided by Focus on the Family Pastoral Resources where a new Barna Group report outlines, "What concerns Christians the most? The following new study from The Barna Group reveals the top 10 perceived important issues in the here and now:
(1-3) Three types of issues are of particular concern, perceived as "major" problems facing the country by three-quarters of the population. These include poverty (78%), the personal debt of individual Americans (78%) and HIV/AIDS (76%).
(4-7) A quartet of issues emerged as moderate concerns, including immigration (60% of adults said this is a major problem facing the country), global warming (57%), abortion (50%) and the content of television and movies (45%)."

I wonder if these are important to those who attend Wooster Grace. If these perceived important issues reflect most Christians then how am I helping to equip believers to address these issues and to teach them what God's word says. We are launching a two-week message series on prayer. I wonder if we could incorporate daily prayer themes through the month of February by taking the top seven issues and praying over them each day. For example on the first I would pray for the poor, on the second i would pray for personal debt, etc. I just might incorporate these requests into my prayer time.

We already offer a money management seminar. We offered a seminar on HIV/AIDS and regarding immigration or ethnic diversity we conduct an Internationals class on Sunday mornings as well as on March 1 we are offering a seminar on how to show Christian love to Muslims. So I believe we are helping to equip God's church to be people fully devoted to Jesus Christ.