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Posted April 02, 2014

Nations Next Door

Initiated by: Mission Whiteboard

Our cities and communities are growing more and more diverse each day. How do we learn to share and disciple effectively? 

12 Comments
 

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4 years ago
Johanna Fenton

Just checking out this space a bit...

A colleague and I at The Seed Company have started talking about zones instead of people groups. 

Tribes by Seth Godin is pretty cool - but his notion of Tribes doesn't solve the incarnation-communication element, in my opinion. Why would a "tribe" communicate or incarnate in another tribe? 

Anyway, I've been thinking about ecological zones - in an ecological zone you can have a variety of people and animals and plants that have to work together and share resources. There's a necessity of sharing our needs and getting needs met across a variety of "everything that has breath" (like the Psalmist says).

Here's a cool example in a recent New York Times article: Paying Farmers to Welcome Birds http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/science/paying-farmers-to-welcome-birds.html?_r=0

So...my point is, it'd be cool to think in terms of mapping and zoning and all the intersections of life instead of making categories of people groups. 

Does this make any sense to anyone? Or am I being wholly inarticulate?

 
  • dan ohlerking wrote: i totally LOVE the concept you're presenting. loads more to chew on with this analogy, but i think you're spot-on with the idea that our differences are necessary factors in our spiritual ecosystem.

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4 years ago
dan ohlerking

diversity is in the heart. you can't just add someone to your team from a different race and think you're diverse. but when it comes from the heart, it isn't very complicated at all. people are people and God loves them all. don't ignore the differences - celebrate the uniquenesses and (like my daughter loves to put it) rejoice in God's kaleidescope of people.

 

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4 years ago
Josh Benfield

Relationships are very key and these must be genuine.  All of us can spot a fake and we know when someone genuinely loves us and cares for us.  Discipleship is long-term and takes investment.  

 

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3 years ago
Larry McCrary

Just as we enter into other cultures to learn about them we should also be in the learning mode with people who have moved from other nations. One of the best ways to enter into meaningful conversations with our new neighbors is to ask about their home, their culture, etc.. This gives them value and I believe helps us to better understand their needs during transitions.

 

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3 years ago
Ellen Livingood

Thinking about this question on a more basic level for churches...

So many people in our congregations are fearful and think they are incapable of reaching across cultural barriers. We've got to help them take baby steps.

One friend encourages people to just express thanks to God for something as they pay the Pakistani at the gas station or give their dinner order to the Lebanese at the restaurant. And then see if God opens a door of conversation. A baby step? Yes, but do-able for anyone.

A pastor told me how his friend asked him to accompany him on a visit to a refugee family that had just been resettled in their town. When he saw the physical needs, his heart was touched and he began a journey of involvement. That "come with me" encounter changed his whole perspective. We need to issue more "come with me" invitations even if the first few times we get a "no thanks" answer.

 

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3 years ago
Rockie Naser

Far beyond being genuine, I think it's key to do all things in love. God's command is we do everything in love. If not done in love, we're clanging symbols :-)

 

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3 years ago
Rockie Naser

1. Pray - ask the Lord to open a door for you to meet some of the internationals. You can contact Colleges, Refugee Agencies, go to an ethnic restaurant or grocery store.

2. Be a student of the culure and people. People Groups LOVE it when you want to learn about their food and culture.

3. Bridge the Gospel in every day life. Share the stories in the Bible with them especially how Christ had power over death, disease, etc.

4. PRAY some more :-)

 

For more info, you can contact me on twitter: @rockie1206

 

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4 years ago
Jeff Walters

Terry Sharp and I will be doing a webinar on this topic on 2 June -- more info at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/305033142

 

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4 years ago
Jeff Walters

Thanks, Caleb.  The granddaddy of those is Michel Maffesoli's The Time of the Tribes.  The two works you mention bring it home for this topic. 

I don't think we can jettison the PG concept, but we have to get back to PGs as a tool related to strategy rather than a driver of strategy.  Additionally, we need to be asking the question about limiting PG to ethnolinguistic categories.

 

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4 years ago
C. Crider

Me too, Jeff. I think the concept of "Unreached People Groups," as it's defined by most in the missions world, is insufficient for work in global urban centers. In cities, people don't group themseleves this way. There, it makes more sense to talk about "urban tribes," affinities, and neighborhoods."

For more on tribes, I'd point people to Ethan Watters book, Urban Tribes, and Seth Godin's book, Tribes.

 

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