Discomfort zone

The other day I presented some thoughts on how uncomfortable growth can be. Then this week I asked some about your thoughts on Hispanic outreach. I want to combine those ideas a bit.

It’s not easy to reach out to others across cultural and linguistic barriers. One problem I see is that we frequently want to do this outreach from our comfort zone. In Hispanic ministry, this often comes in the form of outsourcing the work. Rather than trying to reach out to those unlike us, we hire someone to come in and do it for us. We can sit back and wait for the “hired gun” to bring people in to where we are; that keeps us from having to go out!

In order to avoid change, we often set up “separate but equal” church structures for Hispanics. Let them meet over there, out of sight, out of hearing. Don’t bring Spanish into our assembly, nor include it in our bulletin. And please don’t make us have bilingual services!

If we truly want to reach others, we’re going to have to step into the discomfort zone. (This goes equally for Hispanics and non-Hispanics) If we’re going to be the church that God wants us to be, we’ve got to put the interests of others ahead of our own. We’ve got to be willing to give up what’s comfortable in order to achieve what’s needed.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5–11)

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