The mission of the church is not always the mission of the kingdom. Whenever the Mission of the church is reduced into caring for the ‘spiritual needs’ of weekend participants, or co-opted into anything less than the beautiful entire renewal that God has in mind.
It will dull.
Then God invites us back to participate in the story He is still authoring.
Finding God Again
Spending time in another culture forces us out of our comfortable shorthand, bias and uninformed opinion. As we travel we often find ourselves both learning from the most resourceful people on the planet, as well as finding levels of frustration we had no idea could exist.
Cross-cultural partnership means that we find failure. Our great ideas are no longer just a good concept but they hit actual reality. They don’t work.
Our beautiful idealization of partnership is dismantled. We find ourselves mad at others for diminished expectations. We blame. We grieve. It is normal.
Now comes the tough part … are we willing to continue onwards. To walk the difficult path of reconciliation?
Facing reality head on
What began in initial excitement, has been stomped by the cruel forces of reality.
This is also the only moment a true and honest relationship might become possible.
If participants are willing to push through into growth. To commit to the hard work reality of cross-cultural partnership – in more than words. Something honest may emerge.
Honesty is attractive
New people are invited to trust the story of the kingdom.
Others, who are already walking the way, hold hands out to new-comers who take their first faltering steps.
The hand-holding goes both ways. It is the true practice of the kingdom after all.
Cultures around the world share the beautiful stories of how the Kingdom of God is relevant anew. Fresh from the struggles with the Kingdom of Caesar. Or the Kingdom of Sudan, or in the Kingdom of Capitalism, and even in the Kingdom of Canada.