How Story Structure Can Clarify Ideas

“Story” is an extremely useful tool for clarifying our key ideas and bringing focus to our message. This won’t make sense to some people. Whatever you think about “story,” set that aside for a moment. [Read more…]

Let Us NOT Praise Famous Men: Success in Ministry

Today’s guest post comes from ANDREW T. KAISER, PhD, author of Voices from the Past and The Rushing on of the Purposes of God, has been living in Shanxi with his family since 1997, serving the people of the province through professional work and public benefit projects. As we turn the corner and enter the [Read More…]

Contextualize. Don’t Merely Evangelize.

As I waited for my plane, I was stumped by what I was looking at. If Chinese understood the English on the KFC sign, no one would want to eat there. It simply read, “finger lickin’ good.” (See the pict below) For anyone who knows Chinese culture, this slogan would be like Colgate advertising that [Read More…]

Educated Chinese Christians and Wang Mingdao’s Popular Theology

Why do educated Chinese Christians both believe and leave the church? And does Wang Mingdao’s popular theology have relevance for today’s Chinese church? [Read more…]

Building the Biblical Story

In order to teach the Bible and share the gospel, we do best to understand both how stories work and how people learn. If we lack sufficient knowledge of either, we might create unnecessary challenges to our ministry. In mission circles, “story” is often linked with orality and UPG work. Among theologians, the entire Bible [Read More…]

The Ethics of Missionary Strategy

Do you have an ethical ministry strategy? I’m guessing most people have never asked this sort of question. What does strategy have to do with ethics? What’s strategy to do with ethics? A few months ago, I heard a book survey different ethical approaches (e.g. utilitarianism, virtue theory, etc.). It dawned on me that the [Read More…]

How to Intentionally Contextualize

If you’re not intentional in how you read and apply the Bible, you’ll likely compromise rather than contextualize. Embed from Getty Images Unintentional Compromise The only things that happen by accident are accidents. As we all know, not all accidents are created equal. Ask your insurance company. Is it any surprise that we tend to [Read More…]

One Gospel for Shame, Guilt, and Fear Cultures?

  How does the one gospel make sense for shame, guilt and fear cultures? Some people seem to feel they must argue for one against the others, as if the gospel was primarily about guilt and second about shame and fear. The truth is that we don’t have to choose. Within the gospel’s framework, we can see how [Read More…]

Examples of Contextualization Maps

Today, I’ll give a few examples how to use a “contextualization map,” which I explained in my previous post.  A “contextualization map” helps you introduce the gospel when you only have 3–5 minutes. Such brief conversations are insufficient to present the gospel in a meaningful way. The primary goal of this kind of “elevator pitch” is [Read More…]

Use a “Contextualization Map”

If we only have 3–5 minutes, can we still contextualize the gospel? I think we can. (This and the next week, I build my previous post “Evangelism or “Elevator Pitch.”) What gets in our way? Two obstacles get in the way of contextualizing the gospel even for a 3–5-minute conversation. First, many gospel presentations are [Read More…]