International (MNN) — The global Church. It’s a big family with the ability to sharpen itself the way iron sharpens iron.
The global Church may be made of folks from different countries, but ultimately it shares the same citizenship—being a citizen of God’s Kingdom. Yet, are we taking advantage of the opportunities the global Church provides for us to renew our minds?
“I highly value the opinions of people who live in other cultures, other brothers and sisters in the Lord who can help me see the areas that I have blind spots too, simply because of where I grew up. And I’ve become so acclimated to certain things that I think, ‘Well, this is the way it should be,’ when that’s not necessarily the case,” FMI’s Bruce Allen explains.
Fruits of the Global Church
The global Church also helps each other see the cultural flaws which impact how we respond to God’s word. For Westerners, this could be hearing a story of persecution from Ahmed, which helps them to have a greater value for their religious freedom, and then exercise it more.
“And they need me, so I can hold up a mirror of reality to them, and help them understand their culture as well, and say, ‘is this in line with Kingdom values or not’,” Allen shares regarding friends in the global Church.
This mirror Allen speaks of also helps the global Church to see and appreciate different parts of itself. Similarly, a fish doesn’t it’s wet until it’s on deck, different characteristics or become more apparent when they’re absent in our lives. And this can help us appreciate things even more.
If you’re unsure of how to access the global Church, start in your own community. Reach out to a missionary your church supports. Another way to get involved is writing to FMI supported pastors and church planters in Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
“The global Church really helps the whole body of Christ become much healthier.
“As we listen to each other and share scripture together, to sharpen each other, and to understand the scripture in the way that God intended, not just through the lens of our own culture,” Allen says.
Be Prayerful, Be Active
Ask God to open opportunities to be sharpened by the global Church. Pray for hearts which would be open to the messages our global brothers and sisters have for us, and for these messages to help renew our minds in Christ. Let’s also pray for God to use us to sharpen others as well.