What do you consider to be the single most important factor in cross-cultural church planting?
I would think that a lot of times maybe our thinking might go to a strategy or a specific tangible thing that I could say, “This is the most important thing,” but I guess in time I’ve begun to realise I believe that the most important thing in cross-cultural church planting is a close walk with the Lord. It’s a very difficult thing to do and to be able to learn to adapt and to put ourselves in a situation that is totally foreign to us and to, in many ways, become like a child again and to be sometimes ridiculed for not being able to say things correctly and for maybe not doing things in a culturally appropriate way and to, in many ways, be childish. It’s pretty humbling and on top of that you realise that what we’re doing is not just about trying to learn a language and culture for the sake of that being the end goal, but we’re actually trying to reach a people for the Lord and we want to see people come to know Him and a church actually be born and grow to maturity and it’s a long process and it’s a lot of hard work. I think, as they say, the devil is in the details. I think … You think about the details of daily life, of just grinding away at the process of learning language or grinding away at actually starting to develop materials and then being able to reach people, share God’s truth with them and then to see them grow so slowly. Often, it just takes so much longer than we think it would and we … It takes a lot more work than we think it should and I think apart from having a strong walk with Lord and just realising that daily times where you’re just feeling like you’re grinding away, we would lose motivation. The adventure would be long gone and peripheral things that might keep us there would disappear and we would quit and I just feel like the ability to do the job but to do it in a way that we could continue to have joy and actually be able to reflect His son in our lives daily as we interact with people who initially are totally lost and ungrateful. All those things, the power to do that comes from the Lord and so I think the answer to this question of the single most important thing for doing cross-cultural church planting, again, is a close, intimate walk with the Lord.