Try Something New: Explore Cultures

two women sitting at table

Cultures are unique aspects of groups who share specific backgrounds or geographical locations. While some cultures vary more than others, every culture has unique customs and beliefs.

Meeting and befriending people from different cultures can be valuable and rewarding. By taking the time to get to know someone completely different from you, you may see many opportunities for gospel conversations arise naturally.

When it comes to learning about new cultures,

  • Intentionally meet people who are different from you. It may feel uncomfortable at first to interact with people who see the world in a drastically different way than you. But your willingness to stumble through some potentially awkward or difficult conversations allows you to connect with the other person in a meaningful way.
  • Remember that conversation is a two-way street. Be ready and willing to share about your culture, but make sure you ask questions to learn about other people’s cultures. Most people love to share about themselves and asking questions gives them the opportunity to share who they are. It also gives you the chance to learn about other worldviews and may lead to an opportunity for you to openly share your beliefs.
  • Meet differences with respect. When getting to know someone from another culture, communication barriers are almost always guaranteed. This could be a different language or some other barrier like differences in respectful greetings or use of directness, eye contact, and idioms. No matter what differences are present, be sensitive and respectful in the way you interact and ask questions about other cultures.
  • Leave room to edit. Don’t write someone else’s story for him or her. Let people share with you as if they were writing on a blank sheet of paper. Your job is to make sure the page is double-spaced with a wide margin so you can fill in the blanks as you learn more about them. Take time to understand who they truly are, and do not let biases or stereotypes cloud your vision.

When you share the gospel, expect and prepare for the questions that may arise. First Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

As you have intentional gospel conversations, remember to spend time reading the Bible and praying for these relationships.

Emily Clark is a senior at Samford University and served as an intern with WMU’s editorial production hub.

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