Responding to Local Contexts So That All May Hear
There are over 7,000 unreached people groups in the world today with the highest concentration located in Asia. Some of these cultures lack sufficient numbers of believers and resources to reach their own people group. These areas are without a self-propagating Christian Church movement and may have never heard the gospel.
Part of ACCI’s vision is for a world where all people have an opportunity to hear the gospel and the freedom to choose, believe and express their faith. But what does it mean to hear? Is it possible that in some contexts, the gospel has been preached but never authentically heard?
As Christians we have a Biblical mandate to preach the gospel, yet the power to bring life, freedom and salvation is unleashed in the act of responding to the gospel rather than the act of preaching it. This message is an unchanging truth, yet the methodology of preaching it must be receiver-centric and speak to the heart of a people group’s culture and worldview in order for it to be legitimately ‘heard’. This is the art of contextualisation- tailoring the presentation of the gospel so that it speaks to the core worldview issues of a given people group, and as such can be truthfully interpreted as the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The ability to contextualise the gospel so that ‘all may hear’ requires us to learn before we speak. It comes from a commitment to incarnational ministry; to live amongst people, learn their language, culture and worldview. It requires us to be creative, to think outside the box, to let go of our own aesthetics, preferences, traditions, and norms. It requires us to value other cultures, recognising that they are as equally capable of expressing the gospel of grace and salvation as is our own. It requires humility, wisdom, and above all, the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
ACC International field workers are based across 40 nations ministering to various people groups, and their ministries reflect the diversity of their contexts and the creativity of our God.