The Importance Of Having A Contextualized Ministry – 1 Corinthians 9

From my reading in 1 Corinthians 9 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

“Seeker sensitive” has become almost a swear word in some church circles.

Since when was it wrong to be sensitive and care about the very people that your are trying to reach?  We should never sin in order to reach people, but why not do everything else in our power to relate to the people we are trying to reach. I love the phrase.

“we will do anything outside of sin to reach people for the gospel.”

The funny thing is that we never have any trouble if someone has a contextualized ministry when they are overseas!

Whether it is popular or not, in order to have an effective ministry you must contextualize to the culture you are trying to reach. The apostle Paul is a great example of this.

“Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.” When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.  I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. 1 Cor 9:19-23

Paul became a salve to those he was trying to reach.

He was willing to change his approach in order to change peoples lives. He tried to find common ground with everyone so he could save those willing to come to Jesus. He did this for the sake of the good news, and so should we.

There is a myth that we have to sacrifice the true gospel in order to contextualize to the culture. 

If we change the gospel it is not longer the gospel and loses it’s power. Churches have tried that and failed.

The message of the gospel should never change but the methods of ministry should constantly be changing.

It takes courage  to contextualize but I challenge your ministry to do whatever it takes to preach the message of Jesus in a way that makes sense to the culture!

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

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