Churcheniese from a new perspective…

18 09 2010
I am now into my second month of living in Korea and I must say I’m loving it.  Every now and then

realistically once a day, I wish I could run to the store and get an American product known as an energy drink but all in all I’m adjusting well.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself, positive reenforcement works wonders on me!  The first time someone cut in front of me at McDonald’s I didn’t blow up (which is huge because its dangerous to get between me and food), I realized I had too much space between me and the person in front of me.  In Korea when there is space in a line that signifies the end of the line. 

So far my biggest frustration is not being able to read the Hangul (Korean) and knowing where to go.  I know  if I just practiced the letters and took a few “adventures” I could adapt quickly.  When ever I go somewhere I look for familiar words and pictures.  After a few gestures and nods or shakes of the head I am able to “communicate” what I desire.  I’m almost certain that after I leave the store owners pray I won’t become a regular.  On my flight to Japan a moment like this happened.  The stewardess wanted to make sure I could operate the emergency exit.  The instructions were written in Korean and in English so I was all set if I had to lead the charge because of some motion picturesque disaster.  Fitting through the door however would have been a different story (Asiana air planes are made for Asians)!  I understood what she was trying to say but I had no clue what she was actually saying.  Because of my experience flying I got the jist through hand gestures and nods.  And then it hit me…this is just like church for those who are un-churched or de-churched. 

In I Peter 2:11 church people are called strangers and pilgrims implying that this world is not their home.  So keeping with that thought, we as Christians create a society of like strangers and pilgrims where we can have a home away from home, for most of us we call this place “Church.”  Now what happens when someone comes into our “country” our home away from home?  Do we make it simple for them to understand what is going on or where they should be?  From my perspective anywhere I go in Korea I am über thankful for, and more likely to stay at a place where they have both Korean and English. 

Translation: don’t get so caught up in your own society that you leave out those who are seeking and trying to see what you’re all about.  Remember, if you do more work on the front end you are likely to have less work on the later half.  Take the time to explain, take the time to listen, and make sure you communicate in their terms.  If you have something important to say, make sure you say it in a way they will understand!

How have you seen this done correctly?

What are some examples you have seen where this has not been done?

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