“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24v14 abridged)
These words from Jesus show how much He loves the nations and that He won’t return until every people, tribe and tongue have been reached with the gospel. That mission has been passed from generation to generation for 2000 years and it’s now our turn to run with the baton.
But reaching into nations and cultures that are very different to our own is complicated. I remember often feeling way out of my depth when Becci and I moved to join Liberty Family Church in Cambodia in 2011 to lead and train the team there. So much was unfamiliar – not just on the surface such as food and language, but the way our new friends thought and learned, the things that were valued, and the stories that shaped the way that they lived. After making lots of mistakes I quickly learned that I had to approach the culture as a humble learner so that I could help contextualise the gospel effectively.
Since returning to the UK it’s become increasingly clear to me that in order to reach the nations, you don’t need to go travel to Phnom Penh, but just need to turn off the Ring Road and take a drive down Stoney Stanton Road. The same need to be equipped to work cross-culturally is right here on our doorstep.
The Unreached Network
That’s why it’s been really exciting to hear of the creation of the “Unreached Network” across Newfrontiers which is seeking to identify and develop best practice in cross-cultural mission. Led by our friend Andy McCullough who spent many years in Turkey, the team are developing training and resources to better equip people who are already working cross-culturally at home or overseas, or who are potentially considering moving to another nation at some point in the future.
How you can get involved
Starting in January, the team are running a series of monthly sessions on Saturday mornings from 8 -10am, starting with a session on the “Gospel for Oral Cultures” on 16th January and another on “Reproducing Disciples” on 13th February.
There’s also a monthly prayer meeting on a Friday morning at 7am which shares news from around the world and prays for the church and believers in different locations.
For more details about either of these, or other things that the Network are doing please visit www.unreached.network
One of best things about being part of the wider Newfrontiers family of churches is getting to partner with and learn from others from all across the world. Let’s work together to make Jesus known! To read more about our time in Cambodia visit www.simonandbecci.wordpress.com