Gina Pottenger, editor of Engage magazine, asked me to write a series of brief essays on the characteristics of Christ's earthly ministry that should be reflected in the way we do world evangelism. Some would say "We can never be like Jesus. He was perfect in every way; we are not" However, there is that call of Paul in Philippians 2:5, "Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus." Colossians 1:27 also has that wonderful phrase "Chrst in you."
My wife Barbara, who is a mental health counselor, likes to talk to her clients about God's declaration in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness." It is a thought that Paul picks up idea 2 Corinthians 3:18 where he says we "are being transformed into His image." It was this concept that led John Allan Knight in 1976 to write a book titled In His Likeness: God's Plan for a Holy People
So, the question then is, what is there about God's image that should shine through in cross- cultural missionary activity? What image of God should people see in an expatriate missionary who has come to serve them?
-- Howard Culbertson
With thanks to my friend Brendon Weaver whose questioning led me to come up with the list of characteristics that evolved into this series of mini-essays.
In terms of the Kingdom, Jesus set a model pattern: Go, proclaiming the Kingdom. That's what Matthew said that Jesus himself did (Matthew 4:23 and 9:35). It's also what Jesus said in Matthew 10:7: "As you go, proclaim this message: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.'"
These 500-word mini-essays on Christlike attitudes and actions that need to be present in cross-cultural missionary service were published in Engage, a monthly online magazine produced by the Church of the Nazarene.
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