Taiwan Training, Day 1
I’ve been in Taiwan almost 24 hours now, and I keep falling back on Japanese (or, failing that, French) to communicate. Doesn’t work. Anyone else ever try to apply the wrong foreign language in a cross-cultural setting?
One day of training done, and my mind is swimming with ideas about applications and implications in the Japanese ministry context. But I’m also realizing some major inadequacies in my ability to engage meaningfully with the Japanese people around us. To be sure, my language skills have much room for improvement, but more than that, I need a more robust understanding of Japanese worldview in order to communicate the gospel effectively.
Today’s discussion of evangelism focused on some aspects that may surprise you. We usually define evangelism in terms of our spoken explanation of the gospel. But our evangelism will be flat and ineffective without:
- Prayer. Pray for those who are hearing the message. Pray for ourselves and our transmission of the message.
- Listening. Listen not only to what people are saying, but also to their unspoken and underlying motives, needs, and emotions.
- Questions. Find out more about the person you’re talking to and where they’re coming from. Clarify their understanding of the message and the meaning behind the words they use.
- Persuasion. We aren’t trying to coerce, force, or pressure anyone into professing faith in Jesus. But we do our best to persuade, encourage, and invite unbelievers to repent and trust the Lord.
Dinner was a bowl of tasty noodles in beef broth from this hole-in-the-wall place near a small open air market. This is the view from our table, looking out the front of the restaurant. The restauranteur/noodle cook stand in his kitchen, ready for the next customer.