Make a Point to Minister Across Cultures

I noticed something recently: if I don’t make a point to minister to people very different from myself, I won’t. My natural inclinations will take over, and I won’t care about reaching out to those who look, talk, and live differently from me.

Cross-Cultural Ministry is Commanded
From when the Son of God puts of His divine rights to become a man, to when He endures temptation as a man, to when He loves people as a man, to when He dies and rises again as a man, to when He says, “Make disciples of all nations,” Jesus is committed to cross-cultural ministry.

His simple act of incarnation was cross-cultural, all of His ministry is cross-cultural, and His command to us was to be cross-cultural missionaries.

Cross-Cultural Ministry is Difficult

Yet cross-cultural ministry is never pictured as easy, or even desirable on earthly terms. That’s one reason Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me,” (Luke 9:23).

As Paul said, cross-cultural ministry is painful, arduous, often excruciating. It brings suffering, heartache, sleeplessness, hunger, pain, and death. It exposes us to hardships we wouldn’t otherwise face – all for the fame of Jesus.

Cross-Cultural Ministry is Christian
Finally, cross-cultural ministry is distinctly Christian. Other religions may be called to make proselytes, but who else must become like the people they seek to convert? Who else is called to give up everything for the sake of the progress of the gospel?

Or think about our message – who else brings the universally good news of a Savior who was sent from heaven and lived on earth? Who healed real people and later died at their hands? Who rose from the dead in a real human body? Who ascended to heaven and will return to judge all peoples? What message is more cross-cultural than that?

Jesus is With Us
Cross-cultural ministry is commanded, difficult, and Christian in its essence and message. We are called to love all kinds of “others,” because that’s what Jesus did for us. Don’t let your own flesh and comforts stand in the way of gospel-glory. Heed the words of Jesus, and keep preaching to yourself. He will be with us to the end.


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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