The Influence of Culture On the Evolution of Mission Methods: Using ‘Church Planting Movements’ As A Case Study
AbstractHow precisely does culture influence ministry methods? The question is multi-layered. In a missionary setting, the relationship between culture and strategy becomes even more complicated. At one level, Christian practice should stem from a sound interpretation of the Bible. Yet, ministry does not happen in a vacuum. Global missions brings people from diverse backgrounds together in a cross-cultural setting. Mission strategies are constantly shaped by at least three different cultures––the missionary’s home culture, the local culture in which he or she ministers, and the biblical culture(s). Of course, people may not be conscious of this fact.Therefore, it is important that we intentionally consider how culture shapes mission strategy and practice. Given the vast breadth of the topic, a helpful approach would be to examine a particular philosophy of ministry that is popular among missionaries around the world. In this way, we can avoid abstraction. Also, our analysis will be relevant for a greater number of people.