I do not normally play the God card. Of course I pray about the challenges, consider the time of year, and consult the survey many of you completed and the additional training you would like. So it is not lightly that I say God is in this challenge and has been preparing it for you long before any of us knew why we would need it. The original goal of the challenge was simple: connect and have fun with the culture where you are living.
Then Covid-19 hit and many of you are currently displaced or isolated. How do you connect with a culture when you may not want to be in the culture or you are stuck at home? Or you view where you are as more of a way station until you can get back to “normal” life?
Enter God, stage right, with His generous gift of reminding us that He is indeed Immanuel, God with us. He knew you would be displaced or overworked or isolated. He knew that you might need a culture challenge with fun challenges for you, your family, maybe even your organization. He knew that even in extreme times with so much loss we would seek to connect with others; with so much disruption we would still need routine; and with so much down time (or overloaded schedules) we would still need purpose.
Enter the culture challenge, stage left. Because no matter where you are, you are somewhere. You are still engaged with a culture that is beautiful and messy and needs Jesus. You are still able to learn and have breaks from the weight of this time, as you learn more about a place you love. This challenge is for you, right where you are.
The challenge includes three activities, with the freedom to participate in all or just some of each activity. If part of the challenge is not possible in your area or is not culturally appropriate, feel free to substitute it with something that will work. You know where you live and what’s appropriate or even possible these days. (Sold? You can join here.)
The three activities are:
1. The Culture Challenge Checklist
The Culture Challenge Checklist contains ten ways to connect with the culture . . . and most can be done at home. (God knew!)
2. Participate in a discussion with Rachel Pieh Jones on culture
Rachel Pieh Jones wrote Stronger Than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa. When I read the book and got to hear Rachel speak in person, I wanted us to be able to have a conversation about culture and ministry in light of how Annalena approached things. You will want to join in the conversation! It will be live on April 8th at 9:00 a.m. EST. If you join the challenge but aren’t able to participate, you’ll have access to a recording of the discussion.
3. Two Facebook Live parties
On April 29th, join one of two Facebook Live parties to share how the Culture Challenge went for you. You’ll have a chance to share from the Culture Challenge Checklist. The parties are at 9:00 a.m. EST and 1:00 p.m. EST and will be in a private Facebook Group.
So, are you in? During times like this, you need space to feel and adjust to losses. But also, you need the Culture Challenge to challenge you to keep engaging with the culture and each other.
Do the challenge by yourself, with a friend or your family, or even your organization. Not only is the challenge geared towards culture, all of the articles and the workshop are too.
This month’s workshop is lead by my dear friend, language and culture guru, Joann Pittman. She presents how your language and culture learning can be ongoing. You can get the workshop here.
Checklist, Culture Conversation with Rachel Pieh Jones, and Parties? You don’t want to miss this challenge and the chance to engage with the culture God has you in right now.
Join the challenge today and get started with the checklist . . . and the fun!