From the Round Table
At the end of last week, I had the privilege of attending a very special conference designed to teach the most effective ways to reach the indigenous Indian tribe known as the Mexican Mixtecs. Although I’ve never personally worked with the Mixteco people and it is not my primary mission goal, the knowledge I gained from the round table discussion at the Mixtec Summit is without measure.
To give you an idea of the level of commitment of those hosting this event, missionaries were brought in from around the world to reveal and discuss all they know about these people. When our first speaker stood and declared, “We believe since lostness impacts everything we do, everything we do should impact lostness,” I knew I was in for a three day educational treat.
While loving the sojourner in our midst was a heavily discussed topic, the greatest impression came when I saw the amount of passion, patience, and intentionality that was reserved for trying to reach these people effectively. I wasn’t around groups and organizations trying to Americanize this culture, but quite the opposite. Research, statistics, life experience, and even a handful of Mixtecs were present, all sharing their knowledge in order to figure out the best possible way to communicate the gospel where language is the largest barrier.
After seeing the amount of effort given and the odds that are stacked against them, I am convinced that one cannot truly evangelize cross culturally without a sincere and deep love for both Christ and people. In fact, I even heard one missionary affirm that you must love for an open door. With that said and watching this group carefully plan and develop their strategy, I am challenged to incorporate this methodical process into everything I wish to influence. Paraphrasing my last session, in order to maximize our outreach, we must be committed to the entire design. Our approach must be simple, effective, and reproducible. Otherwise, when it is our time to leave, the harvest will die as we remove the lights from their lives.
“Desire without knowledge is not good,
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”