So this week we had another retreat. Now, I can't speak for everyone else in TCP, but I love retreats. They provide a certain environment in which things like cultural engagement can be taught with a higher efficacy than in other circumstances.
We all met at the Engage Global Retreat Center located in the Phillips neighborhood. After a brief intro session, we started discussing the reasons for the retreat. Our goal during the weekend was to dive deeper into the cultures that constantly surround us. We were to obtain a different perspective and deeper understanding of culture, and what it means to engage with people of different cultures.
The weekend had a slew of activities which included a cultural role-playing workshop, visits to the Hmong markets, and Somali malls throughout the weekend. The overarching theme of the weekend was the call of a believer to fulfill the great commission. This call involves people groups from around the world. As people of a certain culture, it is always difficult engaging other cultures because of the differences the cultures. However, we were encouraged to approach the other cultures with a heart to learn and an open mindset. One of the more interesting points was that one must always be wary of using their culture as the point of reference and comparison. Instead one should approach a culture with a learner's perspective and seek to ask questions and learn all they can.
This weekend got me thinking a lot about culture, and how I engage it. Do I engage or avoid people of other cultures? If I avoid it, which I know I do a lot of times, why do I avoid it? What is causing me to not desire the fulfillment of the great commission? I've been praying through these questions for a few days, and have been challenged to engage culture and the commission more often. Jesus called us to make disciples of all people groups and nations, so that we could all worship him together. Let's get it done.