Staying with us now is a work group from a Reformed church in Slate Hill, New York. Tonight I am to do a devotional with them. I am planning to ask them this series of questions, following a reading of Matthew 28:18-20, stressing the part about making disciples of all nations.

Matthew 28:18-20

1.You are a missionary to a culture that practices polygamy. A man wants to convert to Christianity. He has 4 wives. Do you baptize him as is? Do you have him choose only one wife before baptism? A single male Christian within this culture takes a wife. Then, he wants to take a second wife to add with the first. Do you perform the wedding? If he does take the second wife, do you think church discipline is necessary?

2.Within a culture that venerates ancestors, each family keeps a shrine within its house dedicated to the ancestors of the family. A small plate of food and a small cup of liquor are placed before the shrine each day, in a short ceremony involving prayers to the ancestors. What do you do, as a missionary pastor, in regard to this practice?

3.You are a missionary pastor to a culture that is oral, without a written language. Stories are retold within families. In each village there is a storyteller whose task is to remember the history of the village and of the tribe, and to tell the history on special days. In the middle of the village is a large thatched roof shelter. When anyone comes to the village, they are expected to go to this shelter where everyone will gather to hear the news from wherever the person who arrived is from. Do you attempt to create a written language for the tribe, so that a written Bible translation can be made, or do you create a Bible translation that is purely oral, that is, unwritten.

What resources guide you in your answers? What is your thought process?

4.You are a missionary pastor to a culture in which legal divorce is easily obtained and common. A divorced woman wants to convert. Do you baptize her? A Christian man in the church divorces his wife, saying they just drifted apart. Is church discipline necessary? The man wants to take another wife; will you marry the two of them?

5.You are a missionary pastor in a culture which values sports highly. Youth soccer games are routinely scheduled morning, noon, and night on Sunday. What do you teach your congregation to do?

6.You are a missionary pastor to a culture that spends vast sums of money on weddings. Easily the sum of money that could be used as a down payment on a house. The latest trend is to do “destination weddings” in which the ceremony is to take place in an exotic location like the Bahamas. Do you participate? What do you teach your congregation?