Sunday, April 5, 2009

Practicing Hospitality: Chp 7

Lindsey, from Prassionate Homemaking, continues our book club discussion this week with chapter seven. For previous discussions, check out chapter one, chapter two, chapter three, chapter four, Part Five, and Part Six.

These are some key points that struck me:
*recognizing that an understanding of culture will open doors for sharing the gospel
*recognizing that a misunderstanding of culture can also close doors for sharing the gospel
*reminding us that it takes time to build relationships (pg 201).
*using English appropiately, this can save you a lot of misunderstandings (pg 208).

Discussion Questions:
1. What ideas can you share for being sensitive in communicating with people from different cultures?
What a tough question! But one worth wrestling through. I think in communicating with different cultures, taking a moment to be clear and thoughtful of one's words goes a long way. We so often speak in slang terms. Or just aren't sensitive to the things we say. And sarcasm and joking don't translate well in cross-cultural contexts. Idioms and cliches are suddenly out of place when trying to explain them. Having an open heart and mind to resolving conflicts and misunderstanding is key. In my experience of traveling internationally, prayer also has a lot to do with understanding each other. Our greatest connections have come from thoughtful and prayerful relationships.

2. How can you be more purposeful in including strangers/ foreigners in your hospitality practices?
Our town is small and although I know there are foreigners in our community, there are few in my sphere of influence. Or perhaps, my sphere has become too small. So this makes me wonder about how we can reach out into the community more.
Having said that, we've recently been talking about including others in our home. We've talked about inviting youth into our home to earn money for a mission trip, inviting a single mom over for dinner, and reaching out to those involved in the kids' programs that our children attend.

Join us tomorrow for chapter 8: Hospitality and Ministry

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