Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
News Feeder

6 Ways Cross-Cultural Church Planting Has Been Good for Our Kids

Recommended Posts

kids-church-planting-300x128.jpg

When we recently unpacked our boxes in suburban Denver, it was into my daughters’ third home. But not only their third home, their third country. Third continent, actually. Third culture, third language, third way of life, third new beginning.

Though my husband and I are Colorado natives, we’d been gone a long time, and our kids had never lived here. As we met our new neighbors, they were either awestruck or incredulous. We heard, “Wow, what a great experience for your kids!” But also, “How sad. Didn’t you want them to have roots somewhere?” Even those who did respond positively would often quietly whisper their concern: “How do you think they’re handling it?”

By the time we moved back to the States with a gaggle of teens and preteens, we’d lived out the spectrum of great joys and deep sorrows in cross-cultural church planting. The joy of new believers and baptisms and discipleship was tempered by sorrow over our girls being bullied for being different. Not to mention the long, hard days in foreign schools with vastly different values from our own.

The skeptical neighbors weren’t wrong. Our kids didn’t have roots, at least not in the traditional sense.

Cross-cultural church planting—though not without its challenges—has ultimately been a great gift to our family.

Instead, their roots are global, established in the soil of the Great Commission. When we left America to make disciples of all nations, we trusted that Jesus would be with us always (Matt. 28:18–20). This promise was our bedrock then, and still is now. He’s proven faithful to us and our children time and again. Cross-cultural church planting—though not without its challenges—has ultimately been a great gift to us.

Here are six things our kids—and our whole family—have learned.

1. Empathy

Our girls spent their formative years being “other.” They didn’t grasp the language, the inside jokes, or the nursery rhymes. But one beautiful gift of being an outsider is that you gain empathy for those who have known nothing else.

Overseas, they befriended the boy with autism, the girl whose parents neglected her, the Roma outcast. In our church plant in Denver, they’re aware of visitors, kids new to youth group, and those hurting at school. God has given them compassionate hearts (Col. 3:12) toward outsiders, because they have walked in their shoes.

2. Christianity Is Diverse and Global

Having been a part of the church on three continents, our kids know that Christianity is not exclusively white and Western. They’ve participated in worship services ranging from wildly expressive to barely audible. They’ve experienced everything from high liturgy to flip-flops in the sanctuary. They know that within orthodoxy, there’s a lot of room for difference. They’ve glimpsed God’s work in a variety of tribes, tongues, and peoples (Rev. 7:9).

Having been a part of the church on three continents, our kids know that Christianity is not white and Western.

3. Where to Put Their Confidence

When I asked my girls to list some blessings from cross-cultural church planting, they all immediately said something like, “I’m brave,” or “I’m flexible,” or “I know God will help me.” Their faith has been stretched—as has ours. They know we’ve only been willing to do hard things because God has enabled us to do so. They’ve labored in prayer and experienced Jesus with us in all the places we’ve called home. 

4. The Church Is Family

Our children have known firsthand the truth of Christ’s promise: “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold” (Matt. 19:29). While it’s true no one can fill the shoes of our kids’ biological grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins, God did provide a hundredfold.

Our kids did not lack relational support overseas, because God was faithful.

Other church planters and local Christians became aunties and uncles to my girls. We had friends we could call in the middle of the night, and brothers and sisters who laid down their lives for us. Our kids didn’t lack relational support overseas, because God was faithful.

5. Home Is Not Here

As a family, we have a sense that there’s no true home for us here on earth. No matter where we are, we feel a bit homesick—this awareness that we aren’t really home, we don’t really fit. With Paul, we say, “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). One day we will enter our real home, where we will share a deep and unblemished connection with all who are gathered there.

6. Unity in Mission Fosters Joy

Here’s perhaps the best gift: Being on mission together has fostered great joy in our family. In each country we’ve felt and prayed Paul’s words: “We were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8). Our kids have truly partnered with us in loving nonbelievers and shining the light of Christ in dark places. This unity in mission has drawn us close to one another as we’ve labored and celebrated together.

In the early years of church planting, a mentor shared wise words with my husband and me: “Never sacrifice your family for the mission, but do sacrifice as a family for the mission.”

‘Never sacrifice your family for the mission, but do sacrifice as a family for the mission.’

There have been sacrifices. Our kids have paid a price. All cross-cultural church planters must count the cost. Not every family can move overseas. Many are called to irreplaceable roles in their hometowns and local churches. But for those who sense that cross-cultural church planting might be for them, know this: Sacrificing as a family for the mission is costly, but Christ is worth it.

Jesus will provide a hundredfold—to you and to your children. He will indeed be with you, in every nation, to the end of the age.

ae_C_r0noxg

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • Houston Public Library Apologizes For Allowing Sex Offender To Read To Kids During ‘Drag Queen Story Time’

      By Evie Fordham - Houston Public Library has banned a man who had been previously charged for sexually assaulting a child from reading to children at Drag Queen storytime. The library apologized after failing to complete a background check on Albert Alfonso Garza, 32, who was last known to be reading to kids at the Montrose Library in September 2018, reported ABC 13 Friday. Garza was charged with sex assault involving a child. Records show the victim was under the age of 14 in 2008. The l

      in Political Conservative News

    • Early church fathers and sola fide

      I've been reading a lot of apologetics websites and some books on the errors of the teachings of the Catholic church.  For what ever reason, I haven't been able to find any information on early Church fathers' views that support the Protestant view on sola fide.  If anyone has some, or can tell me where to look, I'd appreciate it.    

      in Christian History

    • To the Church in thy House

      TO THE CHURCH IN THY HOUSE   Here are some verses showing the pattern and order as led by God that the church met in homes to consider   “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2)   "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,47 Praising God, and having favour w

      in General Faith

    • God's Order in the Church

      God's Order in the Church   God’s order in the body of Christ is His spiritual working in every part as he leads and empowers believers in all things. Though hidden from the eyes of  natural men, it is there nevertheless. This order begins in the spirit and the patient waiting on God as He leads into all gifts, ministry, fruits of the Spirit and sets the order. No person can know this order unless they are in Christ, and walk in the spirit. But sadly, many Christians today are drawn aw

      in General Faith

    • Local Church Announces Merger With World

      OAK CREST, NC—At a press conference Monday, representatives for Woodlake Community Church announced plans to merge with the world. The post Local Church Announces Merger With World appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

×
×
  • Create New...