For all the amazing things related to disciple-making in cultural diversity, there are also serious threats to your heart and soul. But the One Who has called us is faithful, and He provides His help and protection. Here you have a quick guide on how to use His help and pursue His call for you.
When the honeymoon stops
Making disciples in a setting that is culturally diverse – being that setting your home, workplace, or the ends of the earth – it’s a source of satisfaction for the humble follower of Christ that has not that many rivals. You can get to see God in action, bringing people back to Him, giving them an ever increasing desire for Him, His Word, Sacraments, Church. While giving yourself away generously, for the benefit of others and for God’s glory, you get to experience meaningful Spiritual Transformation in your own heart, you get to witness the Triune God of Scripture fulfilling His promises.
It is really something else.
It is also a place where you will face frustration, discouragement, and burnout. It is a place, by its very nature, that does not play well with your strengths or cultural preferences. Here, in cultural diversity, people is weird. They do not think like you, act like you, measure life – or progress in discipleship – like you.
And they should, right?
The bigger the difference between what you are expecting, between what your own preferences say it should be and what is actually taking place, the bigger the potential for frustration in your attempts of disciple-making.
The good news is that He is faithful.
God the Holy Spirit is still applying the benefits of the Person and Work of God the Son, Jesus Christ, according to the plan God the Father has ordained.
What about, then, all that frustration? The problem could be the story you are subscribing to.
Looking for the Artist’s signature
In his book Contact, Dr. Carl Sagan writes,
It doesn’t matter what you look like, or what you’re made of, or where you come from. As long as you live in this universe, and have a modest talent for mathematics, sooner or later you’ll find it. It’s already here. It’s inside everything. You don’t have to leave your planet to find it.
The it he is referring to is the artist’s signature.
If we are to overcome the limitations of our own idolatry – yep, that is what our cultural preferences can become – we need to ask God the Holy Spirit to help us to look beyond what we are experiencing, and remember that He is the one at work, that He is faithful, and that we all are more similar than different: we all are miserable sinners in desperate need of His grace.
We. All. Are.
And when the Artist – sorry for the correction, Dr. Sagan – allows us to contemplate His signature, when He allows us to see Him in action restoring human hearts according to His plan and not according to what we think it should be, then we will experience real delight, then His Beauty will provide for us a meaningful Spiritual Transformation.
This is the Story we need to subscribe to.
Quick Guide No. 1
Five steps to setup a line of defense.
- Remember we all share in our cosmic rebellion against the Triune God of Scripture.
- Remember also that we all share in our deep and desperate need for His redeeming love and grace.
- Try to identify ways those you are serving attempt to satisfy their need and justify their rebellion.
- Now, remember your own ways of dealing with your need and rebellion.
- Pray that God may show you how He is dealing with the rebellion and need of those He has called to serve. Ask Him to show you His signature. Compare those ways with how the Lord has intervene in your own life.
Call to action
- How do you protect your heart while making disciples?
- If you do not have a plan already, consider how you could start implementing this Quick Guide. Use the section for comments, right below, to share your experience and / or your own suggestions.
Remember His grace for you, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate hearts constantly, All in cultural diversity.